Your employees arrive to work. When they notice you, they make eye contact for a moment and their greetings are just as brief. “How’s the morning going?” You ask. “Fine,” they muster and that’s that. Later on, you decide to hop out your office for a coffee. As you close your door, you hear an uproar of laughter from your employees sharing their weekend stories. When they see you however, those grins turn into clenched jaws and they move to their desks in silence. In a state of self-reflection, you walk off for your coffee with the thought gnawing at you; “Do my employees even like me?” Chances are, if they’re showing any of these signs, they probably don’t and here’s why;
A lot of business owners don’t realise when they’re being disrespectful to their employees because they’re not told so. But who can be blamed? The security of having a job often outweighs a confrontation with a mean boss who will probably fire the employee in question. If you’re shouting, speaking to them inappropriately or being passive-aggressive (or aggressive in general), your employees are probably looking for another job while you’re in your office.
As an employer you have to be willing to communicate with your employees about their work progress. If you don’t, then who will be there to guide them? You’d also get insight into what they might need to do their job better. However, if you try to give your employees’ guidance but have no in-depth understanding of their work, they will easily detect your ignorance and find it hard to respect you.
There’s one thing to guide your employees and another to be stalking their every move. People like to know that they are trustworthy enough to be considered competent. If you find that you are always on your employees’ backs about their work, rest-assured that your distrust is blindingly clear.
You have to be compassionate enough to understand that your employees have responsibilities outside of the workplace. Always asking them to work overtime or giving them excess work is actually counterintuitive since a stressed out employee underperforms. The simple solution is to give them some flexibility.
When your employees do a good job, tell them! That way they know that their efforts are appreciated. When your employees propose an idea to you and you like it, give them credit! There is nothing more disrespectful than claiming someone else’s idea as your own. If you do this, consider yourself disliked.
Even if you don’t do what’s indicated in this list, take some time to reflect on who you are as a boss. There is always room to improve as a person.