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Breaking Your Word

And Other Ways to Make Your Best Employees Quit

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

I have written before about how people don't quit bad jobs, they quit bad bosses. (If you are interested in reading that one, click here) But what makes a boss bad? I wrote a few points to watch out for, that may be indicative that your boss is abusing your good nature. So for all the employees out there reading this, use this as a guide to help make the decision if you need to give your boss the finger. If you are the boss, then take a hard look at yourself and if you find yourself doing these things, then perhaps it is time to reevaluate your management strategies.

My Way or the Highway

What does not bend, inevitably breaks. You can't be a tyrant to your people. You have to understand that while there are reasonable expectations you can place on your team, there are also really unreasonable ones. Do not hold your team to impossible metrics, don't ask them to do 30 days worth of work overnight. Do not ask them to work outrageous hours, or seven days a week, even if you do. Also, do not ask them to work for nothing or extremely low pay, if you can avoid it. If you can't pay them very much, then make sure you are compensating them in other ways. If your employees push back on unfair treatment and you fire them, all you're going to do is create a reputation that your company is not a good place to work, thus shrinking your pool of potential workers.

I Promise

If you tell your employees something, then follow through. Whether it is new desks, or a treat meal for a job well done. Make sure that if you promise your employees an evaluation of their compensation that you give them the evaluation, that you get the new desks, the treat meal, the whatever it is. Every broken promise is a shove out the door for one of your employees. The smaller the thing is, the smaller the step towards somewhere that will treat them better will be, at first. But eventually, you are going to push your best workers out the door by not keeping to you word.

That Was Then, This Is Now

No one on your staff is a mind reader. Make sure that if you change your mind about something, that you don't just make that decision without telling anyone, and then get angry when your employees aren't following the new way. Stating that you thought of it, doesn't make it real. It isn't real until it's documented, that is always the case. If there isn't a document available and accessible to all employees regarding whatever change you just made, then you never made it. There is no exception to this rule.

No Coal for Bob Cratchit

I know it is a tough market out there, trust me! I do the books, as well as the hiring and the firing for my company, so I see the direct effect of this literally every day. Do not enslave your workers to you by overworking and underpaying them. Sure, paying them 75 percent below market median, at 60 hours per week will keep them coming back to work for a little while out of necessity to eat, but eventually, they will realize that unemployed they can get state assistance, or even better unemployment from you, and they will just leave, so they can eat ramen and get out from under your thumb. There are better jobs than the one you are offering, and better paying jobs that your employees qualify for. If you want to keep  your people, you have to pay them a living wage. No one who works 40+ hours a week should be starving.

The beatings will continue until morale improves!

As the old adage goes, you will get more flies with honey than vinegar. Be nice to your employees, offer a smile, learn their names, care about them. You can't fake this, so if it isn't in you to do it, then you should probably hand over the people management portion to someone who does. Do not scream at your employees for their mistakes. Correct the mistakes, reward the successes. I have no idea why this is such a hard concept for modern employers to grasp, but your employees will be much more likely to stay, and much more likely to work hard for you if you pat them on the head when they do right, and show them the right way to do things if they do wrong. 

Don't be an abusive boss. Don't force your most valuable workers out the door. The basic rule in all of this is truly, just be a decent human, who says what they mean, means what they say, and treats their employees how they want to be treated. It shouldn't be so hard, but apparently, it is.

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