Let’s face it, a jobs can be stressful enough on its own. Coupling a stressful job with a terrible boss makes for a work culture that leaves employees in a miserable state. As a boss, it’s important to know that your presence is very powerful. Are you using your position or power positively or negatively? Knowing what not to do can be just as powerful as knowing what to do, if not even more powerful. So, let’s take a look at what not to do if you want to avoid having miserable employees.
Offer Unclear Expectations – It’s very important for your employees to clearly understand your expectations. If you’re not stating them, or changing them without notice, you’re likely causing very high stress for those that work under you. It’s difficult to offer your best, when you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Help your team to deliver the best they have to offer by making the expectations clear and constant.
Micromanage – Having a boss that is constantly looking over your shoulder creates a culture of mistrust. Your employees will not feel the freedom to truly take ownership of their position if they feel that they are not trusted to get the job done. If you have a team that needs to be micromanaged in order to deliver the correct results, you either have the wrong team or you have lead them to a place where there is no vision of what the goals are. This is a miserable position to be in as an employee.
Don’t Offer Praise – Regardless of personality type, everyone should be praised for quality work. If they are not getting this from you, it will be easy for them to lose motivation due to the assumption that you won’t notice their hard work. Consider praise as a part of their “pay.” Sometimes praise can be an even bigger motivation than a cash bonus.
Don’t Listen – You got to where you are because you have all the answers, right? Wrong. You could not run the business on your own. Your team has valuable input and they should be heard. Let them know that they are valued and that their input matters by listening to them. They may just have the next big idea that gives you an edge over the competition.
Be Unresponsive – As the leader, you must interact with your team. They need your vision and your guidance. Without it, they will likely veer from the vision, delivering results that are not congruent with what you’re aiming for. Don’t leave your team hanging. Respond to those emails and voicemails in a timely manner. This will also help them to feel that they are important to you, building trust and loyalty. It is important that your team members are loyal to you personally, and not just loyal to the bottom line. You will get far better results and initiative when relational loyalty is present in your organization.
Constantly Cancel Meetings – This communicates a lack of concern for your employee’s time. They likely spent time preparing for the meeting when they could have be working on other things, making a more productive use of their time. If at all possible, don’t cancel meetings. Even if you don’t feel well or don’t feel up for a meeting, do it anyway. Value your team enough to stick to your commitments with them. Additionally, if you’re always cancelling meetings it communicates that they don’t need to take them seriously.
Publicly Talk Down to Your Employees – If you want to erode the confidence or instill fear into the life of your organization, publicly ridicule your team members. This will destroy confidence between team members and cause them to constantly feel the fear of failure. No one wants to work in that environment and it ultimately removes the reward of taking initiative out of fear of embarrassment.
So, if you want to build a confident, productive and winning organization, do the opposite of the above no-nos. Be relational, communicate well, have patience, coach and build up your people. It will pay off huge in the long run.