You don’t need us to tell you about the benefits of a happy employee.
When they feel fulfilled at work, your employees will:
- Work more productively.
- Share the positive word about your business to others.
- Stick around for longer, without feeling the need to apply for other jobs.
- Care about the work they are doing, with a focus on quality.
On the other hand, if your employees are frustrated at work, you can expect them to:
- Work less productively.
- Gossip about you to others.
- Search the job pages for vacant positions elsewhere.
- Put less effort into the work they have to do.
- Tell you to your face, unleashing their built-up resentments.
Needless to say, you need to make every effort to retain your employees and keep them on task by keeping them happy. If you don’t, and your actions frustrate rather than please them, then your business is going to struggle.
With the above in mind, we are going to consider some of the ways that employers frustrate their employees. If you relate to anything we suggest in this article, take note, and then consider the advice we give you to turn things around for the better.
#1: Giving them strict time limits
You need to remember that your employees are human and not automated worker drones. If you impose unrealistic time limits upon them, then not only will they become ill with stress trying to make the deadlines you have set, but they might make mistakes too if they are forced to cut corners to complete their tasks on time.
Companies such as Amazon, have hit the media because of the strict deadlines they set their workers. By imposing unfair time limits on their warehouse workers and delivery drivers, their inhuman work practices have come under scrutiny.
Many other companies are guilty of the same, with maintenance field teams given unrealistic time limits when working with customers, and office workers not being granted enough time to deal with the desk-based tasks they have to complete before the day’s end. Employers such as Amazon have also penalized their workers, and have actually fired ‘slow-working’ employees.
Could it be that your employees relate to what we are saying? Are you frustrating them with the strict time limits that you have imposed into their working week? If so, you might want to reflect on your actions and take steps to support rather than frustrate your tired and stressed-out workers.
Be realistic in the time limits you impose, and consider key factors when scheduling your employees’ workloads. The following linked article gives reasons at to why time might be the least important factor in maintenance scheduling, for example, listing employee experience and client needs as two other factors that have to be considered within an employee schedule.
Relate the information within the article to your business, and perhaps use the planning software being promoted in the link to better manage your team. By doing so, they will be less likely to become frustrated and more likely to work diligently and productively.
#2: Not giving them the recognition they deserve
We all like to feel appreciated and valued; it’s what gives us the motivation to strive harder and do better in the jobs we have to do. But if you rarely make the effort to praise your employees, then they might become resentful and frustrated. Sure, you give them a paycheck at the end of each month, but could you be doing more? You might improve the morale of your employees if you do, and consequently, you should notice a rise in their productivity levels when they feel as if their efforts are being recognized by you.
Think about it then. When was the last time you patted an employee on the back for their hard work? When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ to somebody for the benefits they brought to your company? When did you last talk about them to somebody else in favorable terms, giving your employees the recognition they deserved when discussing your company’s milestones? If it’s been a long time coming, then it’s time you showed your employees a little more care.
So, find ways to reward your employees when they deserve to be credited for their work. It might be a simple thank-you note, or it could be a cash bonus at the end of the month. You might mention employees by name when discussing your company at your next AGM, and you might include stories about good employees in your mail-outs to customers and investors. Your best employees will then strive to work harder to receive further rewards for their hard work, and your slacking employees might pick up the pace when they see the benefits ahead of them.
#3: An unfair approach in the workplace
We have already touched on this to an extent. If you are giving your employees strict time limits and forgetting to reward them, then you can’t exactly call yourself a ‘fair boss.’ However, there might be other things you do that cause your employees’ frustration, and if you ever hear the words ‘he/she is so unfair’ in whispered conversations, then you can safely assume it is probably you are they are discussing.
So, why would you be considered unfair? There are too many possible reasons to list, but here are just a few.
- Do you make your employees work overtime on too regular a basis?
- Do you give your employees opportunities to take breaks during the day?
- Do you pass over your best employees for promotion?
- Do you over-criticize your employees when they do something wrong?
- Do you refuse requests for vacation time?
If you have answered yes to any of those questions, then you can understand why your employees might be frustrated with you.
Using the examples we have given, you should focus on the following.
If you are regularly making your employees work overtime, they will feel frustrated because of their poor work-life balance. Instead, you should give your employees the opportunity to get home at a reasonable time each day, perhaps by giving them the tools to enhance their productivity at work, or by outsourcing certain tasks to others firms, especially when these tasks don’t pertain to your employee’s job descriptions.
If you aren’t giving your employees opportunities for breaks during the day, then you can’t expect them to work productively. They will become tired and burned out, and this will show in the work they produce. Instead, timetable breaks into their day, and go the extra mile by giving them a better break room so they can fully unwind and refresh their tired minds.
Many employees need to feel a sense of progression in the companies they work for, so if any are deserving of a promotion, try to make that a possibility. If you don’t, you might struggle to retain your best employees, as they might feel compelled to take their talents to an employer who is prepared to give them the better positions they deserve. You might also take steps to improve your employees, giving them the training they need to progress in their roles for example, as even if there aren’t any opportunities for promotion, they will still feel as if they are growing in their careers.
We have already talked about the need to praise and reward your employees, so let this rule your leadership style instead of criticism. And while there will be times when you need to pull an employee up about his performance or behavior at work, you can also do this fairly, perhaps by calling them into your office for a one-to-one meeting, instead of embarrassing them in front of their colleagues.
And when it comes to vacation times? Well, we all need a holiday, as we will start to suffer the signs of burnout if we aren’t afforded the opportunity to take an extended break. Relate this to your employees, and if you spot signs that they need a break, or if they request it from you, give them the opportunity when it is right to do so. You can make life easier for yourself by asking your employees to book time off early, as you can then take steps to manage their workloads using temping staff or outsourced freelancers.
By taking these steps, nobody can accuse you of being unfair, so if you have related to anything we suggested, start to turn things around for the sake of your employees. You might also take the time to listen to your employees’ concerns, so if we have failed to list anything here, you will then get a handle on why your employees might be grumbling about you.
Take time to reflect on what we have said within this article, and then ask yourself:
Am I frustrating my employees?
If you know the answer to be yes, then start to turn things around. Employee care needs to be your #1 priority, as your business will suffer if it isn’t. Take the necessary steps, and then feel less frustrated yourself, as your happy employees will bless rather than curse your time in the workplace.