1) Sending emails on a Friday afternoon
Do you want to demotivate your staff? Or that colleague from another department to avoid you?
Then try either:
- send email at 5pm announcing due dates of some deliverables, followed by ” I hope you have a great weekend” statement
- send meeting invites scheduled for next week
2) Sending emails at night or over the weekend
This will have a much worse impact if the recipient/s of your emails can access their emails using their mobile phones.
Put yourself in their shoes and emphatize. Imagine this.. you’re enjoying your one-in-a-blue-moon delectable dinner or savouring finger licking Kentucky fried chicken or having the time of your life roasting yourself under the sun and then some messages pop out of nowhere following you up regarding some reports or tasks.
Can that message wait for sending on the very the next day? Do you really need to forward that now… as in now?? 2am? Wee hours in the morning!? Can it wait until Monday morning or are you really required to send it on a Sunday? Have you heard of Sabbath day?
Be more considerate and try to put yourselves in the shoes of others.
3) Regularly enquiring what’s on your staff’s plate
Read: what your staff is working on ATM (at the moment)
Ok, once is ok, twice is still tolerable. But everyday or every other day? Are you serious?
4) Having obsession on EMAILS
Do you have this tendency to require everything to be documented? Do you always prefer email discussion over face-to-face resolution of issues? If it involves other teams or departments, I can understand… but if it involves your staff.. something is not right..I smell something fishy. Are you planning to save those emails, create a special folder and just waiting for the right time to get rid of him or her?
If you send an email about a certain issue and your staff ask if you could have a catch up to tackle it, heed upon his request and LISTEN.
Unless you have a hidden agenda, it’s a more preferred approach to talk and clarify things between the two of you and simply document the results after. This is your staff asking for clarification. Not a stranger from another team or company.
So rather than requiring him to deliberately reply on your email, I hope you can spare some few minutes for him\her unless you’ve got HIDDEN agenda.
5) Blame shifting
Case in point… Your staff messed up.. big time!
He admitted, apologised and was held accountable. Head down.. he walked inside that meeting room amidst those representatives from other teams all pointing their fingers at him.
So the issue was addressed, resolution was underway and everything now fine and dusted.
Now back to your desk.. are you going to continue barking at your staff? Repeatedly asking why you did this or that?
At the end of the day, always bear in mind that you two are a team. You reviewed his work, you approved how it was executed and you also have a contribution on that unfortunate circumstance (whether you like it or not).
No one is blaming you. What I’m just saying is your staff’s ego, pride, confidence…staff morale is already 500 miles below sea level..Do you still want to dig deeper, excavate some more until you reach the core?
6) Questioning Undertime
Your staff usually reports 9 to 5. Yes, probably he sometimes stay back 30 mins or 1 hour with no overtime pay. And then one day, he wishes to leave at 3pm so that’s 2 hours early..
Hmmmm…. we’ ve got 3 scenarios:
- Boss will obligate him to file for annual leave.. that should be the case right? No one should question that!
- Staff, even without the Boss asking for it will file the leave.
In this case, what is the possibility that the Boss will be kind enough to say..” reverse it, there is no need”.. or will the boss just approve the annual leave.. agreeing that it’s a half day leave then!
3. Dont bother. No one will say anything.
The staff just knows that he stayed back the previous days and is willing to do overtime for rest of the week to complete the 2hrs! You’ve got a choice. Payroll won’t have the visibility. All depend now on the Boss’s judgement and consideration and that Boss is you (too much pressure to handle?)
7. Having so many meetings
Sorry… I wont be able to finish explaining this one. I’ve got a meeting to attend. Got the point?
Someone is expected to execute and that’s your staff’s role. How is he going to deliver if he has to attend your meetings every day or every other day?
That’s it, folks… Anyway, I’m not whining 🙂 Just my 7 suggestions on how to appease your burnt-out subordinates… just 7 reminders that bosses may forget…
At the end of day, you’re still the boss. Whether you want to empower your staff or demotivate them, it is still your call. But always remember, what is the true meaning of merits.. accolades and recognition if your staff respect someone else’s boss?
Your greatest achievement is when your staff is shining brightly. And for that you are shining even BRIGHTER.
Note: These can be offset with remarkable deeds which your staff may find favourable for his career growth. I know a friend who is so obsessed with emails and her staff was incredibly surprised when she promoted him. And this promotion was supported by.. (drumroll..) all the emails that she kept through the years! All of his efforts didn’t go down the drain as every single recognition, all compliments from customers, praises from even the most petty task .. all of these were documented!
I’m in awe…even right now…