8 Things Bosses Probably Shouldn’t Say

If you manage people at your business, you know it can be tough. You want to walk that balance of being nice and garnering respect and getting the job done. While you shouldn’t be a pushover, BNET does have some recommendations on things you shouldn’t say to your employees unless you don’t mind them taping a picture of your face to a dartboard.

Here are 8 things a good leader should never say to employees:

1.“I’m in charge, so this is what we’re going to do.” Dealing with different opinions or even open dissent is challenging for any leader and can make you feel defensive and insecure.  When that happens you might be tempted to fall back on the golden rule:  She who has the gold makes the rules.  Don’t.  Everyone knows you’re in charge; saying you are instantly destroys any feelings of collaboration, teamwork, and esprit de corps.  When you can’t back up a decision with data or logic, possibly that decision isn’t the right decision.  Don’t be afraid to back down and be wrong.  Employees respect you even more when you admit you make a mistake.

2.“I have a great opportunity for you.” No, you don’t; you just want the employee to agree to take on additional work or the project no one wants.  If you say, “Mary, next week I’m assigning you to work on a new project with our best customer,” she immediately knows it’s a great opportunity.  If you say, “Mary, I have a great opportunity for you; next week I’m assigning you to sort out the problems in our warehouse,” she knows she just got stuck with a less-than-plum assignment.  Any opportunity that really is great requires no preface or setup.  Don’t sell.

3.“Man, this has been a long day.  I’ll see you guys.  It’s time for me to get out of here.” No employee wants to feel your pain. From your perspective, running a business can be stressful, draining, and overwhelming.  From the employee’s perspective you have it made because you make all the rules.  Don’t expect employee empathy; instead talk about how today was challenging and everyone pulled together, or how you really appreciate that employee’s help. Continue reading

So Please, Treat Your Staffers Well…

Feeling very Crosby, Stills & Nashish today, so you’ll have to excuse the headline.

Ragan offers some basic, yet valuable tips on treating your staff well. So if your New Year’s Resolution is to make your employees a priority and improve morale, stay on track and make your goal easier to reach. Here are the things to avoid:

1. Playing favorites—Favoritism shouldn’t exist in the workplace. When you constantly give opportunities only to your favorite employees or apply the rules only to certain employees, you’re going to create a work environment that’s filled with jealousy and resentment. All employees should be treated equally.

2. Taking sides in employee disputes—This usually goes hand in hand with favoritism. You should never jump to conclusions nor take sides when two or more employees have a dispute. Always look at the facts, and make decisions based on company rules and regulations.

3. Not giving employees clear performance expectations—If employees don’t know what’s expected of them, how can you expect them to succeed? You need to have clearly defined standards, and employee performance should be measured against those.

4. Not giving employees a forum for voicing suggestions—You want your employees to feel like they’re valued members of your company. That’s why you need to encourage them to make suggestions for improving the company or the way their job is handled. When you get good suggestions, make sure you actually do something with them. Talk is cheap; implementing the good ideas is what counts.

5. Hiding the bigger picture from employees—Employees that find some sort of deeper meaning in their work are likelier to take an interest in doing a good job and being proud of what they do. Let your employees know what the company’s goals are and how their performance plays into that.

6. Knee-jerk reactions to disputes—Before you react to a situation based on your emotions, take some time to calm down and evaluate the situation rationally. This could save you from doing something stupid like firing a good employee or alienating a worker by overreacting to a simple mistake.

7. Lack of communication with employees—Just like every other relationship in your life, communication is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with your employees. Be present. Be easy to contact. And take the time to get to know your employees by speaking with them regularly.

8. Ignoring the law—Too many companies forget that there are laws governing how you can interact with and treat your employees. Before you take any action—such as firing an employee—you need to make sure there are no laws prohibiting your actions.

9. Not trusting your employees—You can’t create a positive work environment if you treat employees as though they’re untrustworthy. If you’re constantly over their shoulders, monitoring their every move, tracking their actions, and questioning them, you’re going to produce a lot of bitter employees.

10. Never rewarding or thanking employees for their hard work—Your employees work hard for you. They’re helping your company succeed, and without them, you’d be out of business. Showing your appreciation for their hard work can go a long way to keeping them happy and motivated. Check out these 10 ways to reward your employees.

Surely, there are other big employee relations mistakes worthy of making this list. Share your favorites below.