Are you a leader who doesn't care whether your employees like you? Do you lead fearlessly but without any input or genuine support from your staff? Traditionally, we've been told that leaders are present to make sure things run well and to tell people what to do. Ever since we found out that people actually matter and that they're not machines there has been a concerted move by leaders worldwide to treat their employees well and help them be happier in the workplace. Yet this concept of leading in a way that actually benefits employees and helps everyone feel better is still elusive for those who remain stuck in the bossing-people-around worldview. Here are twenty ways to tell if your employees hate you.
- Everyone is fake nice to you.
- You can't get better performance from employees regardless of what you say or do.
- You only relate to a few people (or no one) on your staff.
- People talk behind your back but have trouble talking with you.
- There is low morale and motivation in your organization.
- Employees don't share information with you.
- People have told you they don't like you or you make them uncomfortable.
- You have frequent and/or ongoing conflicts with employees.
- High employee turnover or absenteeism.
- Low productivity and stagnant growth in skill level of your employees.
- You're not invited to outside work functions.
- You're not invited to functions at work.
- People look scared, overly serious or annoyed when you're around.
- You micromanage a lot and don't trust your employees to work independently.
- Nobody but you tells you what a good boss you are.
- HR keeps mentioning employee complaints about you.
- You keep justifying to your employees why you're so hard on them.
- You don't worry that you're doing anything wrong leadership-wise.
- You think of your employees as whiners or soft.
- You don't ask employees for ideas.
If you practice any of these behaviors you aren't some kind of evil person, it's just an opportunity to fine-tune your skills to get closer to your employees. Leadership is often much more about the atmosphere you create at work rather than all the tasks you complete. There are many very productive and driving leaders who have employees who only work for them because they have no other option. The positive news is that you can turn around this type of workplace dynamic by making small adjustments to your leadership approach such as listening more to your employees and giving them more autonomy. What will you do so your employees really like you?