The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Three Dynamite Ways to Blow Up Employee Relationships

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, February 01, 2016
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A sustainable, resilient organization needs employees who will hang in through changing times and put their talent and heart into the job.  Sadly, I’ve seen too many relationships disintegrate because of the actions of a manager. Worse—this isn’t rocket science but rather manager behavior that borders on everything from arrogance to just plain carelessness.  See how you would rate:

One: Communicate infrequently and without any context. Single sentence emails can also do the trick.  And when you do communicate, express disdain when the employee asks for clarification. Make sure you let him know that he is just plain stupid for not understanding. Ignore questions until the last minute and then throw employees under the bus if the result is less than great.

Two: Allow no feedback or ideas to come from employees.  Make sure you accept nothing that is contrary to your way of thinking. You hold all the answers, it’s your department, so inform them that they have an assignment, so just do it. And if the employee turns out to be correct, never apologize or acknowledge where the idea came from.

Three: Never use the words “thank you” or express any appreciation for effort. The employee is getting paid. That should be appreciation enough.They should be grateful to have a job.

Sigh. I wish I had made these up after a nightmare induced by eating spicy chili. Unfortunately, it was daytime observation over time.One would think that a high turnover rate would have been a clue. Alas, the manager dismissed such thoughts as “poor hires”. Besides, the other employees are staying.

In a tight job market, employees might hang in there even as they despise how they are treated.  But the ripple effect could be huge. They can discourage others from buying the product or service. They can make sure that others do not work for that organization. In the age of social networking, it’s not just customers who share experiences.

What would your employees say about you in terms of respect, courtesy, compassion, and clear communication? What would they say about transparency, sharing of ideas, and feeling like a valued contributor?  Creating an environment that supports people can go a long way toward firing people up so they don’t fire themselves out—but stay.


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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