Wait, Who's the Boss Here? You'd Be Surprised
You're the boss. You set the rules. Your employees are dependent upon you. You are the one taking the financial risk in running this business. Therefore, you can do and say what you want, and make whatever rules you want. Cancer is not an excuse.
You just read that right. Employees at a Rochester, New York store got fed up with a district manager and closed the store in the middle of the day, leaving a nasty note proclaiming the manager's faults. The sign reads:
"Dear Jamie, Since you decided to say ' cancer is not an excuse' and think it's ok to swear at your employes like you do ALL the time...WE QUIT. *THIS is why you can't keep a store manager longer than a year. YOU ABUSE your roll and staff Enjoy the fact that you lost a store manager, co-manager and key holder in the middle of back to school. Think next time you treat people the way you do. We aren't allowing it Any More."
This, you may say, is a small retail store, and the signatories, (Nikki, Jess and TJ) are probably young adults--or even teens. Your employees are adults who need their jobs, and would never do that type of thing to you. Well, it's true that this type of thing doesn't happen all that often, but that doesn't mean you can behave like this district manager and get away with it.
You can treat your employees horribly and then expect that they'll stay with you forever and work hard when they do. And don't think that they don't notice when you nitpick their time cards, play favorites, or intrude into their personal lives. They do, and they hate it.
Many managers and business owners put their best efforts into recruiting the best, but as soon as the employees are on board, somehow forget that they have hired actual humans. Not only humans, but humans with options. Because when you recruit the best, other people want them as well.
And it's not just about not being a jerk. It's about doing the right thing for your employees, which is, coincidentally, the right thing for your business.
Talent acquisition leader Mike Schuler warns managers: "While just about all managers are highly proficient in the function they manage, many don't spend nearly enough time truly engaging and developing their direct reports. An annual performance review is not the answer!"
It's not just about hitting that sales number, or meeting that client deadline. It's about developing your people so that hitting that deadline becomes easier and that the overall skill in your workplace increases. It's worth your time, money, and effort to develop your employees.
Your employees can make or break your business. Employees treated correctly will do whatever it takes. Employees who are treated poorly will only put up with you for as long as they have to. Your employees have a tremendous amount of power, even if it's your signature on the checks.
SUZANNE LUCAS | Columnist
Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.