How not to Scare your Employees

dont scare employee

how not to scare employeeIt seems this whole month of October many of us are gearing up for Halloween or fall festivals. However you celebrate or embrace the entrance of the season, we’ve got some tips for leaders on how not to scare your employees. Save your scaring tactics for that Halloween party instead!

Leaders, without realizing it, make mistakes by scaring their employees into making decisions based on fear. This can lead to damaging mistakes that, thankfully, are reversible.

Create innovators, not order-takers

We all say things we shouldn’t from time to time, but one thing many leaders are guilty of is offering solutions to their employees when problems arise. While this may seem like a nice, time-saving thing to do, it’s not. Instead, it leads employees to become order-takers, instead of innovators. Employees should learn how to deal with situations or problems that arise. It helps them learn from their mistakes, and develop a solution to avoid making the same mistake again. Developing one’s own solutions also creates a sense of belonging, and ownership.

Too much sharing during meetings

While it is important to share goals and benchmarks with employees, you don’t want to overshare during your meetings. Confusion and uncertainty often create fear, which results in a natural response to fight, flight, or freeze. Instead, maintain meetings that are short and to the point, have a little fun and be candid. Keep your agenda clear and focused. The idea is to solicit requests for the needs of your business, while also accepting promises from the parties responsible for fulfilling that need. 

Giving negative feedback, skipping the rapport

When encouraging more responsibility from your employees, come to their level by making them feel like you’re one of them. Become an encourager by saying, “would it help if I…” when you notice an employee seems stagnant and not able to progress. Or, “I need your help…” when you need employees to act more responsible. It’s almost as if you’ve swapped roles, and asked your employee to step up.

Using the C-word the wrong way

Change, it’s a c-word that can lead to resistance, fast. Change should be presented in a way that highlights improvement to something already in effect. Present change to your team by removing the bad stuff, but keeping the good stuff that works.

Focusing on too much on problems instead of outcomes

It can be disheartening to read those weekly and monthly reports. Instead of asking your employees “what’s wrong?” or “why is this happening?” focus instead on “how can we meet our goals?” and “what do we want?”

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