Sylvia Ann Hewlett has written an article over at HBR.org about “dressing for the job you want“. It got me thinking about the way people often manage everything about their staff, except the outcomes.

Outcomes are really the only thing that matters at the end of the day. What an employee wears is, for the most part, irrelevant.  So why do large companies seem to focus on things like dress codes? I think the answer lies in the fact that many managers just aren’t sure where to start when it comes to getting real outcomes.

It’s not just uniforms, the same thing applies for a whole range of things, some of which are difficult to let go. For example, does it matter when an employee starts or finishes, or how long their lunch break is? If the outcomes are still meeting your targets, the rest is a moot point.