If you think it's tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn't necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:
1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.
2. You're not the boss of me. My five year old used to say this to me all the time. That is until I corrected her by telling her that actually I was the boss of her and that what I said goes. You may be the boss, but you don't own your people. The minute you start playing the, "Because I said so" card, you've lost the game.
3. Your girls don't like being called girls. I remember how shocked I was when my first client started speaking to me about the girls in the office, as he pointed to a sea of silver haired women. That should have been a sign that the problem was right in front of me. It is disrespectful to call females over the age of 18 girls. They are women. Keep this in mind when referring to female employees or you'll soon find yourself managing a team consisting of yourself. Then you'll be free to reference yourself in the manner that best suits you.
4. We are no longer going to take one for the team. That is after the senior team has just awarded the departing CEO an exit package that certainly could have been used to restore salary cuts.
5. We are tired of picking up the slack from the non-performers. We know who is not pulling their weight and so do you. Do something about it before we throw ourselves on top of the dead weight pile.
6. That was our idea you just shared with the CEO. We understand that tough times call for tough measures, but that doesn't give you the right to take credit for something that is not yours. Now go back in there and give us the credit we are due.
7. Measure us on results, not face time. Stop penalizing us for our ability to get work done quickly or we will give you what you want. More face time, and that's about it.
8. Stop wasting our time with surveys. You already know what's wrong. Now start fixing things before we find a work place that is willing to take action.
9. Stop micromanaging us. Micromanagement is a sign of mistrust. You've hired us for a reason. If you don't trust we'll get the job done then by all means, either find people who you think will, or leave us alone to do our jobs.
10. We are never going to act like business owners. Stop complaining that we don't act like business owners. We are not business owners nor are we compensated the same as the owner. And by the way, if we really wanted to act like owners we would have started our own businesses.
I'm sure there is a lot more your employees wish you knew about them. Perhaps they'll be brave enough to add their comments to this list.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Visit Roberta's Blog on the Generations at Work or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters.