What are Employees Saying About You?

5 Things You Never Want Employees Saying About You

By Alexander Huls

Published: March 4, 2019 | The Hartford Small Biz Ahead

As a small business owner, you need to accept that your employees are going to talk about you — whether it’s to colleagues in the break room, loved ones at home, or friends over coffee. What employees say about you when you’re not around represents how they really feel. And, while it’s hard to please everyone, there are a few things you never want employees saying about you.

The five complaints below, in particular, illustrate what happens when something has gone wrong with your management style (which 37% of employees say is the reason they leave a job). Here’s how each statement represents possible bad manager traits you may have, and what you can do to avoid giving employees reasons to say any of these things about you.

1. “I only hear from my boss about my work when it’s something negative.”

No employee likes to make a mistake, but it happens. When it does, it falls to the small business owner to point it out. That’s never a pleasant task, but it’s a required one. Where small business owners can get into trouble is when that’s the only thing they ever say about an employee’s performance.

The reason employees will complain about this is because all that negativity will start to demoralize them. A Gallup poll found that, among employees with managers who focused on weaknesses and negativity, more than half became disengaged with their work. What’s more, negativity breeds a culture of fear where your employees can be anxious about submitting work. They’ll be bracing themselves for failure, which can create an anxiety that will lead to them second-guess any work they do.

What you can do: You can avoid this managing misstep by first checking to see if you do this. It can easily be something managers aren’t even aware of. A quick way to check is to search your emails for the words “good job.” If no emails pop up, you’re in trouble. Be sure to praise good work. Writing or saying “This was great work” only takes a few seconds, yet it can produce a long-lasting impact on morale and create a healthy praise/criticism equilibrium. What’s more, by highlighting what good work looks like to employees, you give them a frame of reference for what to do moving forward.

2. “They’re always looking over my shoulder.”

Nobody likes a micro manager. Surveys show it’s the most disliked trait in a boss and 68% of employees say it ruins their morale. The reason employees dislike micromanaging is because it conveys that you don’t trust them. What’s more, it also means [warning: incoming tough love] that you’re doing your job wrong. Employees are there for you to delegate tasks to, so you can focus on the big picture tasks.

If you’re micromanaging your employees’ work, you are neglecting your own responsibilities. And don’t think employees don’t see that. It will shake their faith in you as well as the business and, if you keep it up, that can lead to expensive turnover. In fact, a survey published in Harry E. Chambers’ book My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide found that 69% of employees consider changing jobs because of being micromanaged.

What you can do: Trust your employees to do the work you spent good time hiring them to do. You may also choose to review your instructions with them to ease your mind that they’ve got it under control.

Now, if this doesn’t come naturally to you, here’s a fix: Sit down and think of all the work your small business needs done that only you can do. Write it all down, then pack it into your to-do lists so that your calendar is so full that you can’t spare the time to do anything else — let alone hover over employees. This can help slowly rewire your brain to the benefit of you, your employees, and your business.

3. “They don’t give me credit for my work.”

The best employees are as invested in the success of your business as you are. They want to feel as if they’re contributing to and sharing in the accomplishments of the work. If you take that away from them, they will quickly call you a credit-stealer and, according to a BambooHR survey, 57% to 77% of employees find that behavior unacceptable.

Managers who fail to reward employees with acknowledgements of their individual contributions will quickly spark resentment because 82% of workers don’t think they’re recognized as often as they should be. Yes, small business owners ultimately represent the face of a company and its success. However, silencing those who help make it possible will have demoralizing consequences.

What you can do: Aim for little gestures that can go a long way. Announcing improved quarterly sales? Don’t say something vague like, “We had a great quarter.” Take a few seconds to specifically acknowledge the salespeople who made it happen. Are you giving a PowerPoint presentation to potential investors? Acknowledge the employee who helped put it together. Above all else, don’t accept any employee’s work as a given contribution to the company. Celebrate it…[More]


To finish the full article by Alexander Huls, visit: 5 Things You Never Want Employees Saying About You