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What Bosses Should Never Make Employees Do: The 7 Lamest Moves

Source | INC : By Jeff Haden 

Yeah, you’re in charge. Yeah, it’s your way or the highway.

And, yeah, your employees might hate you.

As a boss, you have a lot of power. But you need to be smart about how you use it. Here are seven things you need to avoid:

1. You make employees evaluate themselves.

I know. “I’ve done self-evaluations before,” you’re thinking, “and I found it to be a very helpful period of self-reflection.”

Um, BS.

Most people rate themselves as above average, even though that’s statistically impossible. (There’s even a term for it: illusory superiority.)

So here’s what usually happens. Employees who do a great job always question why they need to evaluate themselves. Shouldn’t you already know they do a great job? On the flip side, employees who do a poor job rarely rate themselves as poor, and that turns what could have been a constructive feedback session into an argument.

Self-evaluations may sound empowering or inclusive but are almost always a waste of time. (And can lead to employees thinking some fairly dark thoughts.) If you want feedback from an employee, ask what you can do to help develop that person’s skills and career.

2. You make employees evaluate their peers.

I’ve done peer evaluations. They suck.

Peer means “work together.” Who wants to criticize people they have to work with afterward? Plus, you can claim evaluations are confidential all you want, but people figure out who said what about whom.

You should know every employee’s performance inside and out. If you don’t, don’t use his or her peers as a crutch. Dig in, pay attention, and truly know the people you claim to lead.

3. You pressure employees to make charitable donations.

The United Way was the charity of choice at a previous employer. Donations were tracked, because the stated company goal was 100 percent participation.

Pressure enough? It got worse; every supervisor reported results from his or her direct reports to the head of the fundraising effort, who happened to be the plant manager.

The United Way is a great charity and worthy of support.

But don’t, even implicitly, pressure employees to donate to a charity. Sure, make it easy. Match their contributions if you like. But make donating voluntary, and never leave the impression that results are monitored on an individual basis.

(And don’t do the “support my kid’s fundraiser” thing, either. That’s tacky.)

What employees do with their money is their business, not yours. Make sure they are allowed to feel that way.

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