The process of hiring and training employees is costly for a business. That is why business owners should do their best to retain their workers to avoid repeating such process. But of course it’s not all about the money lost that every employer should avoid. They also have to consider the trust and relationship that may be lost when employees call it quit.
Management, to be efficient and effective, should have the essence of leadership – the heart of management. Employers, managers, bosses, and supervisors have to understand that they are handling people who are human beings filled with seemingly unpredictable feelings and emotions. Any statement, once recklessly said to an employee, could trigger him to quit his job and leave a company.
If you don’t want to discourage your workers, and if you want them to stay motivated and stick with your company, be mindful about the following statements that you should avoid saying to your employees.
1. I’m the one who’s paying your salary. You have to do what I say.
Firstly, it’s actually your customers who are the source of money that you use to pay your employees. Secondly, good and idealistic employees don’t work for money, but they work for learning and passion. Hence, that phrase would surely dismay your employees.
2. I’m your boss and I’m the one who’s in charge here. You have to follow every word I say.
This is a declaration of how bossy you are and how close your mind is for any suggestion from your subordinates. People don’t want to be treated like puppets or remote-controlled equipment. You have to give them a level of independence and empowerment.
3. I’m smarter than you. Look at all the achievements I’ve attained in life.
Because you’re the head of the organization, your subordinates who spent most of their hours with you, will usually know how smart you are and your achievements. Thus, you don’t need to blow your own horn and make your employees intentionally or unintentionally feel how weak or lowly they are in comparison to you. A better manager is a humble leader. Also remember that successful business owners usually hire people who can do better than them on a particular field or position. That’s the essence of delegation.
4. If you don’t like to work here, work somewhere else.
These words usually come out when a manager’s temper is already beyond control. But being out of control with temper should not be a good alibi. A good manager should also learn how to manage his own temper. Telling a worker to work somewhere else if he don’t like it here is like telling him “I have nothing to lose if you will leave” and “we can always find your replacement anytime”. Although this is not actually what you mean, an employee who will hear this phrase can instantly become emotional and leave a company immediately.
5. Do not bring your personal issues here.
Although an employee should concentrate on his work, it’s still impossible to leave all his personal matters at home, such as his problems about family, love life, and other personal issues. As a manager, you have to be understanding and also be open-minded about these matters. Even if your workers are inside your office, you still have to respect their personal space.
6. I even work here on Sundays, how about you?
It’s not fair to compare the number of hours you spent on working versus the hours spent by your employees. The reasons are obvious – you own the business and you get the profit, while your employees are getting fixed income and not certain if they will enjoy a portion of that profit. Although employees have to work hard to support the business, you don’t need to utter those words in front of them because it would only make them realize how tyrannical and unjust you are.
7. You cannot do this work better because you’re a woman.
You have to be careful when it comes to dealing with what women can do. Female employees don’t like to be discriminated. Besides, in most countries, there is a law that prohibits gender discrimination in the workplace.
8. I don’t want to hear your excuses.
Managers have to learn from the mistakes of their subordinates to make improvement. If you don’t want to hear any explanation from them, then how can you learn and improve your team? This will also lead you to make false or partial judgments about your employees, which could be harsh and unfair to them.
9. My ex-employee was far better than you.
Employee-employer relationship is like any other relationship. Comparing your current employee to your former employee in a regrettable way would only hurt his feelings. To be a more mature leader, you also have to increase your maturity when it comes to handling existing relationships.
10. That’s a great idea, but we have to follow what has been the tradition of this company.
This would only mean that your business is not open for a better change and innovation. Passionate and creative employees will only find it disappointing because they expect a catalytic leader who accepts better ideas and transform them into creations.
11. You’re stupid. Even a grade-school pupil can even do that, and you failed to do it.
You have to hold your temper and never say this to your employees. This is degrading and can actually be traumatic. Telling a 30-year-old person that he is worse than a 10-year-old kid is just like telling him that he just wasted 20 years of his lifetime. Well, we don’t really know how people’s brain interprets things – it analyzes more or less.
12. It’s okay since no one else is complaining.
Whether it’s your other employees or your customers whom you are waiting to complain before you act something, you’re not bringing your business to the right direction. Managers should implement quality control and do anything to avoid complaints instead of waiting complaints to arrive first before doing something. No one should take advantage of silence to continue any wrongdoing. Besides, silence doesn’t always mean no one is really complaining. You might not know, they are just actually shy or afraid to express their objections.
13. There’s nothing I can do.
Don’t say this to your employees if there are still obvious ways or alternatives that you can do because it will only make you look like an unwilling person. As a leader, you are supposed to be the one who will have more ways or solutions than your subordinates.
14. We need to cut costs. We have to buy new desks for the managers.
This will only elevate favoritism, which is one of the main causes of employees’ low morale. If you want the people in your organization to practice sacrifice, you and your managers should be a role model. Leaders have to learn selflessness first before their subordinates will.
15. You’re lucky to get a bonus. Other companies even let their employees get underpaid.
First, telling your employee how lucky he is to get a bonus is like telling him that he doesn’t deserve it. Second, saying that you are paying better than other companies do is somehow vague. Why? Even though there are really companies who pay their employees lower than what you pay, there are still many other companies who will beat you when it comes to granting employees’ benefits. It’s hard to convince employees when it comes to the different levels of income available in the job market. As job seekers, they are even more knowledgeable than you when it comes to that.
16. You’re fortunate to receive a salary. Other people don’t even have a job.
It’s true, it’s really difficult to get a job and earn income nowadays. Most employees actually know that, and you don’t need to tell it to them right at their face. Speaking these words may actually make employees feel more unfortunate rather than fortunate. Instead of telling them how lucky they are to get a job, why not tell them how deserving they are to get it? Anyway, you’re the one who hired them. And rather than encouraging them to thank you for giving them a job, why not thank them for helping you run your business?
17. Because of me, you were able to feed your family. You don’t have a sense of gratitude.
This is like telling your employee that without you, he and his family won’t survive. This could make your employee decide to leave your company just to prove that he can survive on his own. Furthermore, that statement is somehow biased because your employees are working for the money they receive from you. If you will keep on emphasizing that as their debt of gratitude, they might avoid any kind of help or favor coming from you now and in the future.
18. I’m only wasting time and money on you. You’re a liability to this company.
Employees are the human resources of your business – they can be your best assets. Telling your employee that he’s a liability would surely hurt him, especially if he knows that, somehow, he has done something that has contributed to the growth of your company.
19. You’d NEVER help this company. You ALWAYS do a poor job.
Never say never and avoid using the word always if you’re not totally sure. Telling your employee that he never become a help to your business discredits everything that he has done, whether it’s small or big. A successful manager knows how to recognize an employee’s accomplishment no matter how small it is.
20. It’s all your fault.
These words are words from a manager or leader who doesn’t believe in team work. To be a better leader, you have to learn how to share your team’s glory and claim your share of blame. As a manager, you have to be more responsible and accountable.
I hope that you’re doing a great job as a boss and you’re not telling those things that are enumerated above. But if you have unintentionally or habitually committed any of them, don’t worry and take this moment as an opportunity to be a better manager and leader to improve your company. Remember that whether you’re the leader or the follower, you’re always a team member – and every member has to do his part to keep the team growing and prevent it from sinking.
Finally, words and information are powerful. They could build a team or destroy it. Thus, be careful what you say and choose to make your company stronger and lasting.
If you’re an employee, you also have to be careful of what you tell to other people. You may also read our post about the “12 things employees should not do on Facebook”.