TEN BEST BUSINESS PRACTICES (AND WHY THEY MAY NOT BE THE BEST AFTER ALL)

Everyone has an opinion on how you can get the most out of your team. Their headline claims their way is best, but is jumping into all the latest office trends going to make your company successful? Take a look at the articles below for different takes on popular business practices.
 
1. Salary Transparency vs. Traditional

Why everyone at our start up knows everyone else’s salary
Money is always a touchy subject and in the workplace it can be particularly taboo. Hillary Frey, co-chief creative officer at Matter Studios, discusses the culture of freedom and trust that comes from their absolute transparency about compensation.

How Salary Transparency Empowers Employees — and When Not to Use It
When you’re operating on a smaller budget and trying to retain the best talent, sometimes having compensation information out in the open isn’t what’s best for your business. This article suggests other practices that empower your employees with information about why they’re being paid the amount they are, making them feel valued for their work.

2. Open Door Policy vs. Hierarchical/Trickle Down Management

Smashing Down Your Open Door Policy
Saying your door is always open is not enough to inspire employees to come forward with ideas and concerns. If you’re instituting this type of policy, be prepared to follow up with an open ear and an interest in acting on the complaint.

The 5 Types Of Organizational Structures: Part 2, “Flatter” Organizations
While it’s nearly impossible to find anyone arguing for an organization adding layers of management, sheer size of some corporations makes a completely flat flow of communication unattainable. Jacob Morgan takes us through a step back from the traditional organizational structure, and gives advice on how a layered company can remain agile.

3. Managers vs Holacracy

We can’t all be leaders, we need a few managers too
Managers have the know-how to make a vision a reality. They are a necessary piece to moving things forward and help you company succeed.

Holawhat? Meet the Alt-Management System Invented By A Programmer And Used By Zappos
A move to roles instead of titles could be the management system of the future. Companies such as Zappos and Medium have famously made the switch to the revolutionary approach to boost both productivity and creativity.

4. Free Meals vs Hinderance to Letting People Leave

What Companies Gain from Providing Free Lunch to Employees
Eliminating downtime for lunch and coffee breaks can go a long way with getting the most out of salaried employees. Free food in the office can pay off big time when you look at the extra time spent working due to the convenience of in-office snacks.

Why Working In The Office Is Bad For You
The cocoon campus model of enticing employees to stick around for longer hours with benefits such as free food and entertainment seems appealing to businesses. While it’s been particularly popular with Millennials, it can lead to burnout as employees move out of their carefree twenties. Once the “24/7” culture takes its toll on a worker, it’s costly to find someone new to replace them.

5. Alcoholic Beverages vs Bully Drinking Culture

Drinking at work: It’s not all bad
Allowing drinking at work can lead to more natural social connections between employees, and a bonded feeling that may not occur otherwise. This can open up the gateway to better organizational culture.

Do Startups Have a Drinking Problem?
Making drinking such an integral piece of company culture can leave employees feeling alienated and out of place should they choose not to partake. Sarah Jane Coffey shares her own experience of employers assuming she has the same relationship with alcohol they do.

6. Working Remote vs. In Office

Fitter. Happier. More productive. Working remotely
Working remotely, while a highly personal decision, allows workers to be more productive and achieve that elusive work-life balance.

When Should Startups Move Into a Physical Space?
While technology serves as a great tool, it is not a complete replacement for human interaction. Many leaders in the startup world argue that as a firm continues to grow, it will eventually reach a point where it is impossible to remain completely remote.

7. No-limit Vacations vs Outlined, Accrual-based PTO

We Offered Unlimited Vacation For One Year. Here’s What We Learned.
No-limit vacation does not necessarily have employees taking more days off than they did with a formal policy. This re-vamped benefit conveys to your employees you trust them, while also preventing burnout and maintaining productivity.

The dark side to unlimited vacation policies at agencies
Today’s workers don’t know how to take a vacation day, and many find they struggle without structure. PTO might be the best option to empower employees to take the time they need.

8. Managing Millennials vs Gen X vs Baby Boomers

Generations Divided: Making the Differences Between Gen-X and the Millennials Work for Your Business
Members of the two generations are best utilized in different ways. Looking at their desirable traits can help employers understand where their strengths lie.

Why Recruiting Gen X Is More Important Than You Think
Gen Xers shouldn’t be passed over in favor of the flashier Millennial generation coming up. Their ability to act as a transitional force between Baby Boomers on their way out and the younger generations coming into the workforce makes them a powerful tool.

Here’s How to Thrive in the Millennial Economy. Embrace this or Die.
As Millennials continue to enter the workforce, they are dictating a new business landscape. Richie Norton believes that businesses who aren’t willing to adapt to this new business environment won’t be able to survive.

9. Being Profitable vs. Running Negative

Profit
Putting blind faith in a company without receiving tangible results (i.e. money) can lead to widespread panic when investors realize they’ve put so much in without getting anything back. The profit metric is indispensable.

Tesla posts rare profit, stock pops 6%
Sometimes running lean for the sake of profit may do damage to your business in the long run. Tesla has shown us they are willing to take that risk today, and forgo quick earnings. When they posted a Q3 profit last year, it made headlines in news outlets from the LA Times to the Wall Street Journal. Running negative to move more quickly can lead to success, but it requires investor trust.

10. Open Office Layout vs. Private Spaces

How To Keep Your Open Office From Killing Creativity
You’ve spent all this money on an expensive remodel, but you aren’t seeing any major changes to your staff’s productivity and communication — now what do you do? Jami Oetting suggests some solutions such as adding greenery, giving employees control over interaction, and creating overlap zones if possible.

Open-plan offices make employees less productive, less happy, and more likely to get sick
Sometimes workers want and need their own space. Some argue open offices lead to more sick days, more stress, and less productivity. Open and in-your-face collaboration doesn’t work for everyone and may be costing your business in worker productivity.

 

All these opinions can get a little overwhelming, but taking a look at both perspectives can help you to weed through the crap and figure out which practices are best for your business.