As a small business you might think it’s impossible to undervalue your employees. With only a few in your business it should be easy to pay attention to each and hear their needs. Unfortunately, things are never quite that simple.
When you’re running a small business with few employees there are less people to cover all the important tasks, and a lot more jobs for each person. This can mean you end up neglecting your employees by not making time for them.
One of the struggles employees can have is trying to get themselves heard. Staff have great ideas that they are often too worried to speak out about or that aren’t listened to by employers. It’s not just not hearing your staff that’s the problem here though.
You need to create an environment where staff feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opening up. That doesn’t mean you have to accept all ideas when staff have them – some may not be great – but you should treat each idea with the same respect and consideration.
Undermining Their Work
Staff who work hard for your company won’t appreciate it when you belittle or undermine the work they do. Often bosses won’t do this intentionally as they need to get on with their own work, but it still has the same damaging effect.
Always try to take some time out of your day and catch up on what your employees have been doing. Or even better, set time aside at the end of each week to hear how everyone has got on and if there are any worries. Your employees will thank you for taking the time out and you’ll also have time to catch up on their work.
Not Setting Objectives
Everyone performs at their best when they know exactly what they are trying to achieve. If you don’t set your employees objectives for each day (or even week) then you aren’t going to get the result that you want. Not only will jobs not be completed effectively, your employees will also feel like their work isn’t making much of a difference and will become less motivated.
By setting regular tasks you’re showing your employees that they have important roles in your business, and you value that. You are also taking time to ensure they can meet these roles and if they can’t you are able to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong and how to rectify it.
Every now and again your employees may come to you with a request. This could vary from taking time off, working from home or being given a pay rise. A good boss won’t grant each and every wish, but they will consider them all with the same amount of time and respect.
As ridiculous or unfeasible as you might think the request is, your employees will appreciate a rejection more if it comes from someone who has taken the time to think about the proposal, go over the pros and cons and come back with a justified answer, rather than someone who has given a flat out no.
Not Asking About Home Life
As you’re paying your employees to work for you, it isn’t your obligation to check that everything is ok at home. However, as a human being, it’s worth asking about. No one want to work for an inconsiderate boss who doesn’t take into account the consequences of a stressful home life.
You don’t need to take half an hour a day to catch up with each employee, just make sure they are aware of your concern for their well-being and you aren’t just someone who expects them to come to work, do their job and leave! An employer-employee relationship works best when they’re built over time and considerate of each other.
Being Too Strict
Making sure your employees are focused and on task is important to the running of a good business. What isn’t important is being too hard on them. Respect that everyone works in different ways, and at different paces to maximise the efficiency of your team.
At the same time, don’t be too relaxed! It can be easy to slip into the role of friend rather than boss, so make sure there are some boundaries and don’t be afraid to explain consequences of lack of work and show authority at times when it is needed.
Not Giving Responsibility
You have a great relationship with your employees; you set them regular tasks, have a morning chat and generally get on well. So what’s going wrong? If you aren’t giving staff more responsibility after working with you for a certain amount of time, they might get a little frustrated and consider other options.
Keep employees interested in their job by offering incentives and training. Instead of them feeling like they’re at a bit of a dead end, they will most likely relish the opportunity to take on responsibility and learn new skills.
Are you guilty of not setting objectives for your employees? Or are you the perfect boss? Let us know and leave us a comment below!
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!