See how managers can unintentionally burn bridges with employees, causing low morale and turnover.
Every manager wants to build a team of satisfied, highly motivated employees because they tend to be more productive and less likely to leave the firm for other job opportunities. However, many managers unintentionally make mistakes that lead to a disconnect with employees, causing low morale and turnover.
Here are some actions that can burn bridges, and tips for how to avoid them:
Failing to reward when times are good. The company proudly announces stellar earnings and profits. Staff assume this will equate to positive changes for them personally, so they wait for long overdue raises, bonuses or promotions. Only, these rewards never arrive. The result is a demoralized team.
Managers need to make sure employees are rewarded for their efforts. If business is on an upswing, it’s time to re-evaluate everyone’s contributions to that success and consider appropriate recognition.
Keeping people out of the loop. Big news is on the horizon: the company plans to expand a product line. As a result, leaders are hard at work finalizing the details, spending long hours behind closed doors. Meanwhile, employees are growing anxious, wondering why there are so many private discussions. Is the firm going out of business or being sold? Are layoffs ahead?
While it may not be possible to disclose all company developments as they’re unfolding, supervisors need to do their part to keep employees informed. For example, managers can inform staff that modifications are being made to a product line but the situation will not directly impact jobs. Acknowledging recent activities and initiatives shows respect to workers and can help stop the rumor mill.
Failing to staff appropriately. Workloads have been growing for a long time and employees have started rolling their eyes at hearing they should continue giving “110 percent.” With no relief in sight, they’re starting to burn out and wonder when management will notice it’s time to hire more staff.
When personnel levels are too low, it sends the message to employees that leaders don’t care — or at least aren’t paying attention. Supervisors should re-assess staffing needs periodically to make sure there are adequate resources to meet current and future demands. If there are short-term projects or if workloads are fluctuating, it may be best to bring in temporary professionals to pick up the slack until it’s clear there’s a need to make these positions full-time.