As an employer, you need to accept that your employees are going to talk about you. What employees say about you when you’re not there represents how they truly feel. You can't please everyone, but there are a few things you don't want employees to say about you.
These complaints show what happens when something has gone wrong with your management style.
1. "My boss only talks about my mistakes".
Mistakes happen, even though no one likes to make mistakes. When it happens, it's the manager's job to point it out. But the problem is when that's the only thing you ever say about an employee's performance.
If all you do is complain about the employee's performance, it will end up demoralising them. Employees with managers who focused on weaknesses and negativity will become disengaged with their work. They will be scared to submit their work. They'll worry about failing, and end up second-guessing everything.
How to fix it: Avoid this complaint by first checking to see if you do this because you might not even be aware of it. Check your emails or texts for words like "good job". If no email pop up, we have a problem. Praise the employees' good work. Writing or saying "great job!" only takes a few seconds, but it can positively impact employees morale in the long run. Also, when you highlight what good work looks like to employees, they will understand what they need to do to achieve it.
Bosses need to balance between criticising and praising their employees.
2. “My boss watches me almost all the time.”
No one likes a micromanager. 68% of employees say micromanaging ruins their confidence. Employees hate micromanaging because it shows that managers don’t believe in them. Employees are there for managers to delegate tasks to, so the managers can focus on the big picture tasks.
If you’re micromanaging your employees’ performance, you are forgetting your own duties. Your employees will see that. They will lose faith in you, as well as the company. They might even quit!
How to fix it: Learn to trust your employees. If you're worried, you can review your instructions with them so you know they got it under control.
If you still can't do it, sit down and think of all the work your business needs done that only you can do. Write it all down, then insert it into your to-do lists so that your calendar is so full that you don't have the time to watch over employees.
3. “My boss never gives me credit for my work.”
The best employees are as invested in the progress of your business as you are. They want their contributions to be accomplished. If you take that away from them, they will think that you steal your employees' credit.
Managers who do not acknowledge employees' contributions will lead to resentment. 82% of workers don’t believe they’re recognised as often as they should be. Employers represent the face of a company and its success. But, silencing the little guys who help make it possible will have demoralising consequences.
How to fix it: Little gestures can go a long way. Announcing improved quarterly sales? Acknowledge the employees who made it happen. If you're giving a PowerPoint presentation to potential investors, try to acknowledge the employee who helped put it together. Above all else, celebrate the employee's great performance.
Bosses should always credit the employee for their good work.
4. “My boss never asked me how I was doing.”
The manager-employee relationship is complex. Most managers think their employees are not friends. But employees do not want to be treated like machines. They're still people.
Employees not only clock in and clock out of work, but they also have a life. If you never ask them about how they're doing, you'll be seen as an impersonal manager who does not care about them. You also risk becoming a manager who forgets that employees have lives, and can end up asking them to sacrifice evenings or weekends for overtime.
How to fix it: Be approachable and take interest in your employees. According to a Gallup report, 54% of employees who strongly agree that they have approachable managers are engaged in their work. You don’t need to become their best friend.
Just ask them about who they are outside of work will make them feel seen as human beings. They’ll be more comfortable around you, and they want you to be happy as a boss because they know that you do care about them.
5. “I can't read the boss' mind!”
A manager should always know about the big and small picture needs of their operations. But most employees only see the small picture. If an employee complains that the manager expects them to be a mind reader, it means that the manager has a communication problem.
This complaint addresses the issue that the manager assigns tasks without clear instructions. Employees who don't meet their expectations will then be punished. Employees cannot know what is expected of them unless the manager clearly tells them.
How to fix it: A manager's job is to lead and delegate tasks with detailed instructions. Your workers can't work if the manager does not tell them how. The manager needs to discuss with employees about general workflow processes and expectations in detail.
If the manager assigns task through email, they need to break everything down into every single task the employee needs to do. Employees should be encouraged to ask questions, and the manager should not make them afraid to ask questions.
These complaints can easily be fixed. It will not only improve communication but also develop the manager who, in time, will find their employees are no longer saying bad things behind their back. If you heed the warnings above, they may start complimenting you instead.
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Source: The Hartford
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