According to this recent article on Nautilus, there’s a long-held belief in educational systems around the world:
Cursive handwriting is an important and valuable skill that should be learned by all children at an early age.
The thinking is:
- It’s faster than manuscript
- It helps with spelling
- It helps with dyslexia
So, cursive is taught early and heavily promoted over manuscript (the simple, unconnected method we learn first).
But, according to research, there is no real benefit to cursive. On the contrary, manuscript may be?superior in most respects.
And, in today’s device-driven world where almost nothing is written by hand,?we hardly even read anything in cursive.
It seems like the notion to continue using it is, well, dumb ? a classic case of tradition trumping evidence.
This got me thinking about parallels in the business world. About?initiatives, programs and policies we continue to embrace that have little merit. Here’s a short list:
?Practices that Need a Second Look
1. Rewards programs to boost performance
Performance programs are thought to boost morale and incentivize employees, but they often benefit only a few while disenfranchising those who don?t make it to the top.
2. Yearly and quarterly employee performance reviews
Ongoing checkins, properly done, can be much more effective at giving employees?and management?the insight they need to be more effective at their jobs day-to-day.
3. ?No meetings? policies, because meetings are boring and unproductive.
Meetings are critical for strategic planning and communication, so perhaps the solution is not to ditch them, but to learn how to have better meetings. Conversely, not all meetings are created equal. Are you swamped with ?status? meetings that are better served by reports and emails? Is the meeting actually serving a goal?
4. Corporate communication and knowledge sharing via an intranet.
Do people use it? Does it integrate into daily workflow? Intranets are hard to do.
5. Hiring people we ?like” during the interview
Research shows that the interview process is laden with personal, subconscious bias. Many interviews are highly unstructured and ineffective.
6. 360? feedback programs
Employee feedback initiatives easily fail, unless they’re ongoing, driven from the top, and result in tangible responses by management.
7. Customer-first policies
According to Richard Branson, putting your employees first results in the best customer experience possible (which, in a way, actually puts your customers first).
What’s on your list?