3 HR Management Rules Startups Use to Destroy Their Work Culture

SumHR Team
August 2, 2012

Every organization has a social and psychological environment that develops slowly over time. The work environment is directly related to the values, behaviors, and the mission of the organization. As a startup keeps on expanding, it also needs effective HR management. Right from managing leaves and attendance to other policies that define the processes and the norms in an office, all points have to be taken care of. Time and again startups end up making policies that effectively end the awesome work culture they were famous for in the first place.

Below are three rules that startups usually use to destroy their company culture:

No Cell Phones

More often than not, startups end up instilling policies that are a reflection of a vintage era. The 'No Cell Phones at Work' policy is one of them. In India, many employers have a master-slave mentality and frown at employees who use cell phones during work, the reason being that it is the employer who pays the employee for their time and they shouldn’t be 'misusing' it. Yes, it is true that cell phones may prove to be a distraction. However, that depends on the person who uses it. In fact, shutting out a person completely from the outside world could have its set of repercussions. The employee could miss a medical emergency call that may be related to his/her loved one.

Banning Social Media

Many startups, especially the ones who scale quickly in terms of employee strength, have a knack of implementing rules that are downright draconian. Social media is banned in many offices these days and even startups have started to follow suit. Most of them use software that blocks such sites. Just like cell phones, social media too can be a distraction. Nevertheless, blocking of websites can be counter-intuitive as a lot of information these days is available on the social web and employees may end up missing out on something important when researching.


As teams expand and more and more people join the organization, there is a need to streamline the workflows. However, many startups falter over here by instilling a military-style hierarchy that often leads to uncomfortable situations, especially if the employees have worked together before the policy was implemented. In many startups in India, there have been cases where employees have been asked to refer their 'superiors' as Sir or Madam! Startups have to be careful when it comes to managing human capital, and having a strict hierarchical structure could do more harm than good to the organization as well as its employer brand image.

Startups usually implement these three HR management rules/policies when they are scaling and end up hurting themselves. Do share views about your similar startup experience in the comments section below.

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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