When your actions frustrate employees, it lowers their productivity, morale and motivation. That ultimately hurts the bottom line, so you should do everything in your power to avoid annoying them. Here are five things you should stop doing now:
1. Providing poor instructions. Don’t assume they know what they’re doing. Confirm that they know how to execute any task so that it meets your expectations. Specific, detailed directions and feedback are a must.
2. Failing to offer adequate resources. Provide them with the tools necessary to do their jobs, whether that’s up-to-date technology, access to subject matter experts or basic supplies.
3. Making them feel dumb for asking questions. When you respond in an angry, condescending, patronizing or sarcastic tone, you discourage questions. Your answers could prevent costly errors and time-draining misunderstandings, so welcome them.
4. Refusing to consider workloads. If employees are overloaded, they will either miss deadlines, complete shoddy work or burn out trying to manage it all.
Let employees know that they can decline additional assignments and negotiate deadlines if necessary. At the least, prioritize their assignments for them so that they know what to concentrate on first.
5. Neglecting to follow up. No matter the situation, close the loop, follow through, check on the status of a project or monitor employee progress. Otherwise, employees won’t find any value in your feedback and they’ll start believing that providing feedback is pointless.
— Adapted from “7 Ways to Really Annoy Your Employees,” Ingar Grev, The Business Journals, www.bizjournals.com.