Happy employees ensure a productive office and there are some pretty basic things managers need to avoid to keep it this way. They might seem pretty obvious but if you think back, you’re almost guaranteed to have experienced this behaviour; whether you were on the receiving end or a colleague.

The golden rule is not to treat anyway in a way you wouldn’t like to be treated. No one likes to be belittled or not recognised for the work they do. As a manager, you’re not only tasked with leading teams to get work done, you’re also responsible for their overall happiness and productivity levels.

If you employees aren’t happy, why are they going to work hard or find ways of improving the company?

Here are 6 ways not to treat your employees.

How Not to Treat Your Employees

Don’t Show Preference

Acting like you have favourite employees is only going to alienate the rest and make your favourite feel uncomfortable with the praise, most of the time. Treat everyone the same and praise everyone equally. You want to encourage teamwork just as well as working independently.

Having favourites can cause bias in your judgement and actually impair your leadership abilities. Treat all of your employees equally.

Don’t Micromanage

Micromanaging is pretty much just saying to an employee that you don’t trust in their skills or ability to get a job done.

It’s more than fine to keep up with a project and to check in but don’t be the kind of boss who is constantly looking over their shoulders or correcting them. As long as your employees are getting work done, don’t stress about the manner in which they’re doing it. If it’s not done the way you would do it then that’s fine.

The end result will be the same, maybe better, and remember they were hired on their abilities to do this job.

Don’t Reprimand Employees in Front of Colleagues

Remember the rule: Praise in Public, Correct in Private. If you’re happy with the way someone is doing then make sure you praise that in public. Don’t keep singling the same person out however, make sure you include everyone at different points.

Never scold or correct someone in front of their peers, there is no greater de-motivator. If you do need to address something then speak with that person in private and address the manner in a constructive fashion.

Don’t Break Your Promises.

In fact this is a pretty bad habit in all areas of your life. If you’ve made a promise then stick to it, especially when it comes to matters of promotions, pay rises and benefits. Breaking your word means that your employees aren’t going to trust what you say in the future and it’s really de-motivating.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep and if you do commit to something, make sure that it happens.

Don’t Force People to Come in on Days Off.

Or ring them while they’re on vacation!

People need down time and to do this they need complete separation from work. If you think of contacting someone on their day off, first ask yourself if there’s any other way in which this problem can be addressed.

If it’s an emergency and you really need the person then call them and explain the situation, but leave the choice up to them. More often than not people will come in as emergency anyway and by not demanding you’ve let them stay in control. If there seems to be emergencies happening all the time where people have to come in or stay late, then you really need to look at the processes you have in place. They’re not working.

Don’t Expect Employees to Be Their Own Source of Motivation

Sure, there has to be some accountability on an employee’s part and if they’re in a positive atmosphere, self-motivation will come easily.

However, this doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for keeping them motivated. When a new project is coming up, provide lots of encouragement. Be positive and praise good work when it’s done. If you hit a snag in the project, proactively look for a way around it and don’t panic.

For more tips on motivating your staff, you can read our guide here.

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