Employee morale can have a huge impact on the success of your company. However, many workplace leaders assume they’re doing an excellent job as long as nobody complains. The fact that no one is voicing concerns, however, does not mean your team doesn’t have any issues with your management style, and as their boss, it’s your job to ensure you maintain an open channel for honest and constructive communication all the time.
If you’re wondering what negative effect you might be having on your employees’ morale, consider these three common management mistakes and develop strategies for overcoming them:
Discouraging Constructive Criticism
A lot of business owners and managers won’t accept unfavorable — but constructive — feedback from their subordinates. After all, you’re the owner and have been in the industry a lot longer. Why should you listen to someone with less experience and workplace wisdom?
Answer: Because they may have valuable insight that you’d miss out on if they don’t speak up. If you want to truly develop an innovative workplace culture, then you need to follow through when you promise your employees that they can offer ideas or suggestions. All too often, bosses verbally encourage this, while their reactions to criticism suggest they’re not so open to feedback. Make sure your words align with your actions and be willing to accept constructive criticism from those working closely with you.
Micromanaging Every Move They Make
It’s hard to feel motivated to perform your job when you know more than half of your tasks will be scrutinized, perhaps criticized and reversed later by your boss. Micromanaging bosses tend to correlate with higher employee turnover rates because most people don’t want someone constantly checking up on them and making sure they’re doing their jobs correctly.
Micromanaging your employees can make them feel like you think they’re incompetent (even if this isn’t what you truly think), and most adults don’t want to be made to feel like children. Many employees value at least an average level of independence to complete their assignments. Do yourself and your employees a favor by learning to let go and trust them.
Prioritizing Efficiency Above All Else
If your only value is efficiency, then your employees are all machines and robots because human beings aren’t built for maximum efficiency all the time. Sometimes, life gets in the way, whether that’s a mental illness, physical sickness, issues with family at home, death of a loved one, financial struggles, or all of the above.
To avoid damaging your employees’ morale, it’s important to remember: they’re only human! As obvious as this might sound, managers oftentimes forget that every person has problems, challenges and limits, and working long hours every workday can seriously take a toll on employees’ productivity and well-being. Rather than striving for efficiency above all else, take time and make an effort to display more compassion and understanding toward your employees. Just like you, they’re not perfect. They’ll be much more willing to give you their best efforts if they feel like you genuinely care about how they’re doing.