Let me start this post by saying that I love my job and truly enjoy and respect the people I work with. But those who know me know that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, in some of my past positions, the polar opposite was the unfortunate foundation of my investment in work every day.
Clearly, I’m not the first to suggest that disrespecting your employees leads to low employee morale and high turnover. In fact, with all the “how to get and keep good talent”-type guides out there, it baffles me that some employers continually ignore the signs that their deteriorating staffing and performance are directly related to their leadership.
So, here, in a series of illustrations courtesy of one of my favorite websites, is a guide for what to do if you really want to lose your best employees. Or, a guide for what not to do if you want to keep them:
1. Constantly remind your employees that you’re the boss and it’s your way or the highway, no matter how trite or ridiculous your ruling may be.
2. Request help for a basic task you are more than capable of completing on your own. Example: Asking for client’s phone number, when the info is in the company directory connected to the email account you sent this request from.
3. Spend a significant amount of time babysitting your employees while trying to appear that you’re not. This will ensure that they feel you trust them to do their jobs, and improve output.
4. In attempt to relate to your employees, use completely inappropriate and suggestive humor or sarcasm. Better yet, be sincere in your approach and then rely on the classic “I’m kidding!” when said employees react with awkward disbelief.
5. Despite standing weekly meetings meant to update the team on what everyone’s doing, it’s important to call additional meetings to discuss slight changes in plans.
6. Insist that a project you’ve assigned Friday afternoon gets done by Monday morning. Then, let it sit on your desk “under review” for at least two weeks. Another good way to make sure your minions are kept in place.
7. Don’t challenge your employees. Give them just enough work to keep them in a floater zone — a balance between brain-dead tasks and assignments that make them feel somewhat useful.
8. If you do start to sense that an employee is catching the job search bug, offer them a promotion. But take care not to change their role or the overall structure of the department. Just give as little increase as possible and maybe make up a new title for them.
9. If an employee has the nerve to complain about a non-competitive salary for their work and what it earns the company, quickly remind them that even though you make an unspeakable bossly salary, in this economy everyone needs to make a sacrifice.
10. Now this may just seem petty, but it’s actually important to ensure that your employees know your requests are urgent. If you really want to make sure they know what you’re asking, consider walking to their desks if they haven’t replied to your email within 5 minutes.
That about sums it up. But just in case you’re still unclear on how you should(n’t) be treating your employees, here are some honorable mentions: