1. Lack of professionalism
very boss wants to be trusted and obeyed. If employees are doing what you say and staying loyal to your company, you are very lucky. Many entrepreneurs experience tremendous difficulty in both departments. So many things can undermine authority, which ultimately prevents employees from performing to the best of their abilities.
You may ask: Why aren’t my employees going the extra mile? Why don’t they listen to me when I say something is urgent? The most logical reason is that, whether you intended to do so or not, you have given your employees a reason not to trust you or take your words seriously.
Here are three commonly overlooked mistakes that may be undermining your authority.
Does your company feel like a real company? Employees have regular paychecks and benefits (health insurance, retirement plans, etc.) and do not question their security. But pay and benefits aren’t the only requirement for professionalism. The company must operate in a manner that suggests the boss and superiors know exactly what needs to get done and why.
Work is not assigned only to be forgotten shortly after. Superiors don’t say one thing this week and another the next. When someone disagrees with a superior, the superior provides a valid explanation rather than simply telling employees to do what they are told.
A lack of professionalism makes employees uncertain about the future. They get the impression that their boss views them as expendable lackeys who do not deserve to be treated with respect. Teams should know their hard work is valued.
Employees might be willing to put up with unprofessional tendencies in a business’s early stages. But that doesn’t mean it can go on forever. So, rather than pretending the problem doesn’t
exist, acknowledge such errors to employees and let them know you are working on clearing them up.
2. Personal transparency
The increasing transparency between employers and employees is a blessing and a curse. It allows employees to get to know their bosses on a deeper level and connect as people. This can create problems, however.
You can’t blame lower-level employees for not mimicking your work ethic when they won’t reap the same rewards. Even the most visibly distressed bosses will have trouble garnering sympathy if it’s widely known that he or she lives in a mansion and jets off to exotic locales every few months.
Many bosses try to avoid these outcomes by keeping their wealth a secret. But your employees know how well you’re doing. Ignoring the elephant in the room will only insult them. Don’t convince yourself that employees should be as motivated as you when some of them have very little to show for their work.
Provide room for them to move up the ladder and dole out regular raises and bonuses for stellar work.
3. Harshness as a motivational tool
Bosses who follow the old-school rule book like to be extra harsh on their employees for the sake of motivation. They might set unrealistic goals, make subtle threats or throw major tantrums over minor mistakes.
But once employees discover that there really isn’t a valid reason for your behavior, they may dismiss any future notions of urgency, frustration or disappointment. They won’t believe you when you inform them of an imminent danger to the company’s survival and will ignore you when you pitch a fit over their work output.
There are much more effective ways to increase employee enthusiasm and output, all of which emphasize honesty. In the past, employees might have been grateful at times to have been pushed so hard, regardless of whether it was necessary or not.
But in 2018, this will only diminish the trust employees have in you and cause them to wonder what else you’ve said to them that might not be 100 percent true. Being hard on your employees when it’s not warranted will not achieve the same results as in generations past.
Adapting to change means recognizing the new requirements for success. One of those new requirements in today’s business world is trust. If your employees aren’t working as hard as you’d like them to, put yourself in their shoes. Is there anything you are doing that would give them a reason not to see a future under your helm?
Prioritize strong leadership and you will never have to worry about not offering more glamorous perks again.
Jared Weitz is the founder & CEO of United Capital Source Inc.