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5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Employees

— August 30, 2019

Employees are the lifeblood of a company. Without them, you cannot serve your customers and clients. Therefore, there are things to avoid saying that could dampen morale.

As a boss, there is a standard behavior that is expected. You should carry out your mandate with respect to your office and staff. Unfortunately, not every employer or boss knows this. Thus, they end up violating basic work ethics. Employees are the heart of a company as they carry all of the operations in their hands. Any slight factor that they face may demoralize and affect their working motive. Regardless of the status or brand of your company, your achievement is highly dictated by what you get out of these employees. They can’t be productive in a hostile environment. Therefore, you need to provide a proper setting for them to succeed. Any human being needs to be treated right, no matter the status. 

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As a boss, you should be the closest friend to your staff. They should see you as the go-to person in case of anything. However, not many bosses are approachable to their team. Some even go further to be rude and disrespectful whenever relating to employees. You should note that this is a tragedy waiting to happen unless you change your attitude. Here are five things that work ethics dictate you shouldn’t tell your staff: 

“I don’t have the time to talk to you right now.”

You can never be too busy to listen to the grievances, complaints or contribution of your staff. They are the people on the ground and so, have a more detailed approach to the company’s challenges and shortcomings. As a manager, for instance, there’s a lot on your table from meetings to reports etcetera. You need to create a balance and fit everything that matters on your plate. A higher office comes with more responsibilities, and the trick is how you handle each one. You might have investors and clients whom you believe deserve attention more. But it is the same employees you may despise, who will get the job done for the clients and investors. 

Brushing off staff often breeds animosity and resentment in the company. Soon, they will be reluctant to inform you of anything, even the vital stuff that happens in the company. As much as your employees need to understand that your office carries a massive load of work, you equally need to spare a few minutes for them. If at all, you are held up and can’t talk at that time when an employee needs your help, don’t simply ignore their call. Instead, you should set up a different time when you can talk to them and deal with their issues. This will show your commitment and concern to their grievances and not just an attempt to stray. Moreover, once you have created some time to talk to them, make sure you honor your word and do so. This will make them feel appreciated and valued in the company. 

“That is irrelevant.”

Never say this statement even if you feel, in your discretion, that what has been said is not essential. As stated earlier, employees are integral to a company’s sustainability. Besides, they have first-hand experience in daily operations. This puts them in a better position to make informed reports and comments about the company. So, by the time staff comes to you with a pertinent issue, then it is always a well-deserving one that needs urgent attention. Sometimes it may not make sense to you, but you still need to consider and do your research first. Don’t shut down the person without doing a proper analysis. At first, you may not be convinced, but can change your mind after deep thought.

Man in hoodie holding his face in his hands; image by Christian Erfurt, via
Man in hoodie holding his face in his hands; image by Christian Erfurt, via

Especially when it is a new idea, they are bringing on the table; it would be vital to treat it with the validity it deserves. 

“If you can’t do it well, I’ll look for someone else who will” 

Just because you call the shots in your company, doesn’t warrant you to be a simpleton. You won’t take your company far by holding your employees hostage through threats. This never has, and will never be, an incentive to hard work. It is rather barbaric and unsustainable. They may do what you say for the initial stages, but will ultimately lose touch with the work. Besides, what happens when you’re not around? The downside of being a jerk is that staff will do things to please the boss. Once you’re out of the office, everything goes on standstill and productivity drops. And obviously, they will concentrate on getting new opportunities elsewhere, so that they can leave the “hell” you’ve created. So, ask yourself who is on the losing end. 

“You’re here through sheer luck.”

All employees are hired out of their qualifications and skills, not because of chance. Therefore, they don’t owe you worship and praise for getting the job. It is their skills and expertise that brings them on board. When you make your staff feel indebted to you for the job, they are less likely to be productive. You should, therefore, handle your disputes with employees correctly. Never settle scores by flaunting your authority in front of workers.

“There is nothing I can do.”

Even when it’s true, avoid telling staff. They may misinterpret you and think it is a white lie and a blatant excuse not to help. At the very least, you should listen to their concern and promise to look into the matter. You might not have an immediate answer or solution, but handle the case with the emotiveness it deserves. For an employee to come with an issue to the boss, then it has to make a lot of sense to them that you can assist. 

Wrapping up, handling employees needs a lot of understanding and patience. You need to weigh your choice of words so that you don’t annoy anyone at the office.

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