Liz Ryan, in her column for BusinessWeek, keeps a list of the best and worst corporate policies that she has encountered while being a consultant. This month, she added referral bonus programs to her list of Best Corporate Policies and anti-moonlighting policies to her list of Worst Corporate Policies.
We've all seen some bad policies in action — like ultra-strict dress codes — and some policies, like non-competes, that could be construed as bad. I've encountered policies so obscure and random that they read like some of those old state laws that have been on the books for decades. Take, for example, this one from my beloved home state: It is illegal for a woman to appear in a bathing suit on a highway unless she is a) escorted by at least two police officers, b) armed with a club, or c) lighter than 90 pounds or more than 200 pounds. Makes you wonder what the precedent for THAT one was.
One company I worked for boasted a casual dress policy until some woman stepped over the line and wore a top that bared her shoulders. Not quite a tube top, but frighteningly close enough. I am serious. At that point, the policy had to get much more specific, and much more weird.
Let's have some fun here. What is the worst corporate policy you've ever been exposed to?
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.