Jun 04 2011

8 things you should always say to employees

Published by admin at 2:31 am under Uncategorized

Make it easy and get your unwritten rules out in the open. In contrast to my post 8 Things You Should Never Say to Employees, here are 8 things you should always say to employees:

“What you say during your performance review is more important – especially to me – than anything I have to say.” A great performance evaluation is a two-way street. Sure, you need to give specific, actionable feedback, but you also want to hear the employee’s view of their performance along with their personal development and career goals. Let every employee know their performance evaluation is their time to talk, not just to listen.
“Remind me later.” Employees will typically understand if you don’t have time to respond to a question or suggestion. What they won’t understand is if you never follow up, so have the employee follow up with you. Shifting the follow up “burden” works as long as the employee feels good about it. Say, “I don’t have time to discuss it now. but that sounds like a great idea. Grab me later because I definitely want to hear your thoughts. Don’t let me forget!” It works.
“Raising issues is good. Solving problems is better.” As a leader you want employees to bring problems and issues to you. But what you really want is for employees to take care of problems and then tell you what they did. Create decision-making and authority parameters and encourage employees to solve problems on their own. (If they make mistakes, give feedback and instruction but don’t scold them for taking initiative.)
“Superstars are important, but people with great attitudes are just as important.” Great individual contributors with terrible interpersonal skills can often ruin a team. Every employee may not be capable of incredible achievement, but every employee can be a good team player. Let everyone know working well together is a key expectation.
“Always give me the bad news first.” We like to hear good news, but we need to hear bad news as soon as possible. If parts won’t arrive on time, jeopardizing a customer ship date, don’t aim any frustration at the employee. Instead say, for example, “Thanks for letting me know as soon as you did. First we’ll call the customer. Then we’ll.” Turn bad news into a positive, proactive call to action and you’ll hear about problems much earlier.
“Hey, that’s great – tell me how you did it.” Employees who toot their own horns usually aren’t egotistical, they’re often insecure. When an employee tells you about a personal accomplishment don’t just say, “Good job,” and move on. Ask for details. Ask for the whole story and not just the ending. You’ll boost employee self confidence and motivate them to accomplish even more.
“Please tell me when I mess up.” A key indication of a great leader (and a great work environment) is when employees feel comfortable giving their bosses feedback. Establishing that level of trust takes time, though, so you may have to repeatedly ask for constructive feedback – and never give employees reason to regret having done so.
“I’m sorry.” When you make a mistake, apologize. Don’t blame others, don’t make excuses – just say you’re sorry, in as few words as possible. Then do what you can to correct the mistake. Isn’t that what you want your employees to do?

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