Your employees may admire your mission and be impressed by your drive, but don't let it fool you: this is your vision and your company, not theirs. Expecting them to have the same level of commitment and passion that you do just isn't realistic. Unlike you, your employees want to leave their work at work, sleep through the night without interruption, and enjoy their lives outside of work. This is why they are employees, not entrepreneurs. But just because they want to have a life outside of work doesn't make them any less valuable to you.
It may be difficult to accept but the qualities that make you an outstanding entrepreneur are most likely the same characteristics that drive your employees crazy and may even jeopardize the longevity of a great employee or team.
Do you have any of these annoying habits? Be honest, select the ones that you do and follow these tips to fix a problem that you probably didn't even know exists.
You shift gears at the speed of a race car.
You are an idea machine, no doubt. And you've done a good job of hiring people to implement your ideas. But if you don't let them stay on course, they will become frustrated and not a whole lot will get done. Don't cheer them on in the morning meeting then throw a wrench in the works before 10 a.m. When you get into the habit of disrupting the flow with a new thought, especially one that doesn't pan out, your employees will roll their eyes every time they see you coming. When a new idea pops up take time to evaluate it and create an implementation plan before introducing it to your team. You'll be amazed at how much more will get done.
You email, text, and call them after hours.
When your employees are enjoying time with friends and family or sleeping soundly, the last thing they need is a guilt trip. Even if they don't see your emails until the next morning it's somehow disturbing to know that your boss is up at 2 a.m. thinking up new ways to keep you just as busy as they are. When your employees leave the workplace they are off the clock. Even if they sound thrilled to hear from you after dinner or while they're brushing their teeth at the crack of dawn, believe me, they are not. Hold your thoughts until the next day. I know you have a lot on your mind and it feels good to unload, so use your smartphone to record voice notes or store those emails in the drafts folder until morning.
You don't let go.
Your employees are good at what they do (if they're not, you need to spend more time thinking about how to hire people). So why is it that when you put someone on a project you micromanage every step of the way? Trust your employees. They may not do the job the same way you do but there is the possibility that their way is just as good--or better. Sure, they will make mistakes, but a good leader coaches their employees to excellence. And if you do have employees who never get it right, no matter how many resources you pour into them, it's time to say goodbye.
You don't talk so they'll listen and listen so they'll talk.
A great leader knows that communication is the key to success. The problem is that many entrepreneurs believe that communication is all in the talking. It's not. Active listening is a critical communication skill. Give your employees uninterrupted opportunities to express their progress, ideas, and concerns. And when it's your turn to talk make sure that you speak their language. Some people need details; some are stifled by them. Learn what each employee's communication style is and use it.
You don't give them resources to succeed.
I always tell my clients that their employees are the No. 1 resource and priority. It's true; your team is the engine behind your success and your customers won't be happy if your employees aren't. As your business grows put your money toward upgraded or new technology, employee training, and good equipment. These things boost morale and the efficiency gains will bring your investment back to you ten-fold.