One of the strongest motivators of productive employees is a great relationship with management. However in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day, many managers end up taking their best employees for granted. If you ask anyone that’s been in the workforce for a few years, they can tell you about a time in their career when a manager was taking advantage of them. Instead of coaching employees and putting in purpose and effort to develop their career, many managers assume an arms-length of distance. Don’t let poor management skills create a relationship of distrust and anxiety between you and your employees. Take a look at these common ways managers take their employees for granted and make it a point not to follow suit.
Using Hierarchy to Get Their Way.
Many managers commonly leverage their authority because they know they can get away it. This leads to irresponsibly exercising your place in the hierarchy in a selfish attempt to advance your own goals. It also minimizes the wants and needs of employees, and diminishes all respect. Using power and greed will only cause you to lose your best employees over time. They will lose faith in their leadership, become unmotivated, and move on to find a position where they’re respected.
Being a Know It All.
Managers that believe they know all the answers all the time take it upon themselves to be the hero in every situation take the knowledge of their employees for granted. You have employees on your team that are subject matter experts, and it’s much more effective to trust them to provide the answers that you can’t. If you’re overly desperate to get recognition that you didn’t earn, you won’t last long as a manager. Respect and recognition should be earned—not stolen.
Not Valuing Employees.
Sometimes when managers don’t have faith in the abilities of their employees, they devalue them by demanding a lot and never showing appreciation for their efforts. This can become an endless cycle of an employee working hard to meet the strenuous demands, and the manager only demanding more until the employee suffers burnout. Instead of developing a negative perception of an employee that doesn’t meet your expectations, make sure your expectations are being clearly communicated and find a way to help the employee be more successful in the areas they are struggling in.
Taking Excellent Performance for Granted.
The employees that are most often taken for granted are the ones that are consistently top performers. Their good work becomes expected instead of appreciated. Managers know high performing employees enjoy being challenged and use that as a way to manipulate them to do more. If you want your best employees to keep performing well, you need to make sure you’re appropriately distributing their workload and not overloading them. Don’t just expect these employees to keep taking on more work and not get rewarded for it.
Not Getting to Know Them.
Many managers make the mistake of not getting to know their employees. Not knowing an employee’s “story” leads you to make false assumptions on how they think, and what wires and drives them to perform. You then take employees at face value and don’t know how to best enable their full potential, thus taking them for granted. Employees that feel like you don’t have an authentic relationship with them won’t feel valued or cared for, which will cause them to become demotivated.
In order to be a successful manager, you have to step back and evaluate your relationship with your employees. If you’re guilty of the above mistakes, make 2014 a time to focus on building better relationships and not taking your employees for granted. Doing so will create more success and better morale for your office.
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