Provisional Blog

3 Things You Should Never Say to an Employee

April 12th, 2011

As the boss or supervisor, a big part of your job is to manage your people – not always the easiest task in the world, especially when you have so many divergent personalities.

But as a Northwest staffing agency, we know that in order to build a successful business, you first have to build a strong team, one that allows you to stay in front of problems. This can be a tall order, especially when things are busy and you’re under a lot of stress. And when an employee complains, it can be easy to lash out with harsh words. However, while you’re temporarily ending your irritation, you could be doing so at a high price in the form of lower morale and loyalty.

So what are some “harsh” words you should always avoid when managing your employees? Here are 3 statements:

1. “You’re the only one complaining.”

Just because you haven’t heard complaints from other employees, doesn’t mean things are going well. In fact, maybe this particular employee is the only one with the guts to say something. When they confront you, make sure you ask if their co-workers feel the same way. You might be surprised by their answer.

2. “It’s always been like that. Deal with it.”

It’s only natural for people to look for easier and more effective ways of doing things. So when an employee comes to you with an idea or concern, don’t dismiss it out of hand just because how you’ve done things seems to be working. You want your employees thinking outside the box and looking for newer and better ways of doing business.

When an employee does come to you, ask them for specific examples of what’s not working and how they would improve it. You could be unaware of a situation that they are dealing with on a daily basis, on the front lines – and their input could wind up saving you time and money in the long run.

Even if it doesn’t, thank them and let them know that you value their insight. Also, so they don’t feel dismissed, give them specific reasons as to why you don’t think their idea would work, or why things are better the way they are.

3. “If you don’t like it, go work somewhere else.”

It can be tempting to tell an employee to hit the road, but it’s just plain offensive. Plus, you’re really not facing the issue that the employee is bringing to you. Even if you don’t think it’s valid, don’t disrespect your employee with rude statements. By letting your employee know you value their opinion, you’re empowering them to confront problems and work with you to develop effective solutions – which makes them a pretty valuable employee.

And if you need some help finding valuable employees – ones that can help you reach your business goals – please contact Provisional. As one of the leading Northwest staffing agencies, we can provide the quality and trained personnel you need to build a strong team and a stronger bottom line.