Psst! Your Employees HATE You and They’re Telling People
In any place of work, employees have an annoying habit of talking to each another. Sure, they complain about their boss to their co-workers, but depending on how well (or poorly) their employer is treating them they may also talk to their friends and their family members.
So what, you ask?
Well, if that isn’t potentially damaging enough to your company, if they’ve been treated really badly they will keep talking to more people.
What if your employees are talking (negatively) about you to your competitors? Worse yet, what if they are complaining to your prospects or…GASP …your customers?
Are your actions as a manager (or boss) jeopardizing your business survival by unleashing a toxic sea of bad press through your employees’ collective ill will?
What are they saying…and where are they saying it?
Are your employees bad-mouthing your company on employment rant websites like Jobvent, JobGrades, WorkRant, and Telonu, or social media websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace?
Yes? Then it is incumbent upon you to figure out why AND RECTIFY THAT!
Be honest. Are you personally or your organization guilty of the following?
• You haven’t given your people a bonus in years (or ever) even if they really deserved one. Did you reward yourself, your senior management team, even a select few employees you really like without regard to performance? Oh-oh!
• Have you even given your people a cost of living salary adjustment to compensate for increases in the cost of living? No? Danger, Will Robinson!
• Have you terminated people in the past two years, and made the workers you kept work harder by giving them additional responsibilities…at no additional pay increase? Do they work longer hours, or take work home with them to do nights and weekends just to keep their head above water?
• Have you stopped offering a holiday party,cut back on basic supplies (coffee, post-it’s toilet paper – don’t laugh! I’ve seen it) or forced people to share computers, phones, workspace?
The people that you laid off were friends of the ones you kept. Do you think that the ones left behind are motivated to work harder?
• Do you treat your people like children? For example, do you use software to monitor/track their use of social media at work? Do you limit their personal calls? Are you requiring them to sign in and out, limit their breaks and lunch time…whether they have abused workplace procedures or they are stellar employees?
• Do you exercise an autocratic leadership style that berates and belittles people, and demands they check in with you for every little action?
• Do you make them pay their own work-related expenses?
• Is your performance management/review process fair? Heck, do you even have one?
• How often do you communicate with your people? Do you encourage them, by telling them when they’ve done a good job?
• Do you ever do anything FUN for your people…a night out bowling? Afternoon pizza party? Throw bean bags at a blow up clown or darts at a board with your face taped to it?
Do you notice a THEME in this line of questions? Let’s say you’re “guilty” of some of these abusive employer actions. Is your answer to all these questions: “my people are lucky they are employed and receiving a paycheck?”
If that is your mindset and your firm keeps treating your people this way, rest assured they will leave you as soon as they get the chance.
Rather than punish your people for expressing displeasure in your horrible treatment, why not become a world class employer? Solicit their ideas all the time how to make your business better. Empower them to take calculated risks, and recognize them for their successes and their failures by learning from the failures.
What do you do to ensure that your people grow professionally? Do you challenge your workers to challenge themselves, think creatively, and act independently? Do you reward and recognize your workers? Do you communicate with them constantly? Have you promoted people?
By implementing a few of these strategies, you will become a preferred employer who has their employees’ ultimate respect and loyalty. Your people will run through walls for you, achieve amazing results, stay with you when times are rough, and help you not only survive but thrive in these transformational times. Your people will still talk about you, but it will be glowing rave reviews that create a strong reputational brand that will make top talent flock to you and the press cover what you do.
So, if you can’t be altruistic do it for purely selfish reasons.
Or, keep doing what you’re doing. I’m sure your workers like spending most of their days playing Solitaire, chatting on Facebook, and searching for a new job.