Not fulfilling promises and lying on occasion:
Trust is the most important bonding factor in a relationship and this applies to business relationships also. Break promises or lie and respect for you starts to disappear since employees can no longer depend on your word being true which causes mistrust and hostile confusion and uncertainty in the workplace.
Perhaps not giving a promised pay raise or job promotion will most negatively affect the morale of an employee. There are other less blatant forms of promises made and not kept which will break the trusting bond with employees. Perhaps the best advice to give a manager is to not be pretentious but be honest and straightforward in all your dealings with employees so that they never have to doubt what your true intentions and demands are on the job.
Criticizing employees publicly:
Embarrassment, shame, and bad feelings against the manager may follow the criticizing of an employee in public. Almost everyone wants to feel safe with reputation intact if they make a mistake or screw up in some way on the job and don’t want this to become public knowledge if at all possible. The right time and place to do any chastising is in private between manager and employee only.
Excessive invasion of privacy, especially if details are announced publicly or to other employees:
Sometimes private activities affect business relationships or activities but the manager should be cautious about probing too deeply into the private lives of employees and even worse gossiping about the juicy details. Almost everyone is interested in maintaining a good reputation in the workplace and intimate private details which reflect a bad circumstance or situation should remain largely private and go no further than the manager and employee concerned. Most employee private secrets which don’t adversely affect the business should be respected and definitely not gossiped about if found out.
Withholding motivation or positive feedback:
A manager should do more than just try to help out if problems arise. A good manager will offer words of encouragement for a job well done so that the employee feels that they are being noticed and appreciated on the job on a regular basis.
Micromanaging indirectly implies that you don’t trust an employee to do a good job on their own. While micromanaging a new employee who is learning the ropes is sometimes a good thing, micromanaging a competent employee with unnecessary interruptions can adversely affect productivity. Interrupting when the work seems to be going too slow or noticing that too many mistakes are being made on the job is not micromanagement but a valid time to see if you can speed things up or eliminate apparent roadblocks to the work. Micromanaging is done primarily because you don’t trust an employee to do a competent job mostly on their own or you want to take credit for the job done yourself.
Not getting feedback from employees:
A domineering manager may just be inclined to give out orders and not ask for much feedback from employees. Largely isolated and minimally interested employees may be the result if they are almost never asked to participate in the decision making processes. Feedback from employees is especially important in a team effort which needs good coordination and participation by more than one employee. Happy and productive employees should be the goal of almost all businesses. Good feedback will determine how happy and productive they are and what things could possibly be done to make them happier and more productive.
Failing to appropriately discipline:
It is bad policy to ignore bad job performance and bad behavior which if left unresolved can lead to a sharp drop in employee morale and some if not many looking for jobs elsewhere. Before disciplining an employee it is best to have a private conversation and determine what is the cause of bad performance or bad behavior on the part of an employee. Sometimes all that is needed is determining the cause, pinpointing concrete steps to resolve the issue, and finally a promise from the employee to improve in the near future with concrete behavior modifications.
Sometimes giving the employee less responsibility, taking away a privilege such as parking rights, or threatening with firing are what appropriate discipline looks like. If the bad performance or bad behavior persists then make sure that you document it all and finally fire the offending employee before the rest of the staff is negatively impacted to the point of no return.
Not coaching or mentoring employees:
Some employees want to advance to higher positions in the business and don’t want to stagnate in a job at the same level for years. It is important for a manager to pinpoint those who want to be upwardly mobile and give them the appropriate coaching, mentoring, and delegation of some authority to keep them motivated. Yes, you run the risk of someone taking over your job in the future but a great manager will him or herself want to move up the business ladder to even higher positions of authority. Having a willing and able replacement ready to go may be a very important factor in getting a personal job advancement yourself.
Not cultivating interpersonal relationships:
Emotional IQ is very important for managers and that usually means that a manager is also interested in some personal information about how the employee is doing away from work. It might be valuable to know what an employee plans to do three or five years from now and what other valuable interests the employee may have. Knowing about employee hobbies, continuing education efforts, networking, and what one does during leisure time can all be vital in adding personal touches to future conversations and pep talks.
Most employees react favorably if they sense a manager really cares about them and what they are doing and hope to do in life.
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