Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Five Reasons Your Employees Want You to Stay Home

It’s Tuesday, and you wake up feeling a little under the weather. Or, today is that workshop you enrolled in. Or, maybe your new refrigerator is being delivered … sometime between 8am and 4pm. Whatever the reason, you’re not coming into work. And when your employees heard the news, they popped their heads over their cubes, gave each other the “high five” sign, and began grinning ear to ear.

Because they like it better when you stay home.

Here's why.

They Actually Get Work Done
You, my friend, sometimes impede your staff from getting work done. You interrupt them incessantly, breaking their attention away from tasks and forcing them to regroup after you’re gone. Stuff comes up, and they know that. But let’s face it. Your stuff is kind of avoidable and mostly stems from your own disorganization.

They Won’t Have to Deal with Your Unpredictable Temper
Sometimes you get frustrated when things don’t go your way, and you take it out on your staff. Your boss criticizes you for filing that form late, and you blame your subordinate, but you never assigned him to file the form. You’re responsible, but you won’t accept that, so you throw poor Jim under the bus instead. No one wants to see you do that to Jim, and no one wants to be Jim either.

They Won’t Have to Be in the Middle of Your Managerial Drama
Rick in Sales hates you, and you hate Mary in Marketing and Phil in Production. Your staff gets it. But they don’t want to be in the middle of your drama, which includes ignoring this one and refusing that one’s request, and just generally having to deal with a bunch of political bull you’ve created for reasons of your own. Your staff just wants to work. Honest.

They Won’t Have to Hear Your Jokes Made at Their Expense
I know you crack yourself up, but your staff does not like the nicknames you’ve assigned each of them. They have real names. Legal names, even. Use them.

When You’re Around, You Make Them Feel Invisible
You’re the boss, yes they know. But everything is about you. You’re employees need you to act as though they matter some. They need your empathy and your concern. They need you to take a genuine interest in their careers. Can you do that? No? That’s why they like it better when you’re not around. Your disinterest isn’t so marked then. They can bond with each other and forget about you for a day.

I’m not saying you’re a terrible person, but you could definitely be a better boss. Try it.

Look your employee in the eye when you speak to her. Say “please” and “thank you.” Ask how someone is doing or how you could help and then wait to hear the answer. Follow up. Listen up.

There’ll still be times when you need to be out of the office, but wouldn’t it be better if your staff actually looked forward to your return?