Six entrepreneurs share which tasks you as a manager should never ask your employees to do and why.
Judge or evaluate colleagues.
If peer evaluation is an approach you're considering to evaluate performance, consider how this could negatively impact morale.
"In my experience, peer evaluations seem to bring toxicity to most working environments, no matter how carefully they're done," says Adam Steele, owner and operator of link-building company Loganix. "You can't really act on anything without giving away who said what, and even protecting anonymity leads to people feeling paranoid."
Steele recommends you stay close to your people instead so you don't feel the need to ask them to provide details on one another.
Send emails outside of office hours.
Sending (and responding to) emails outside of office hours sets the precedent that employees should do the same.
Brett Farmiloe, founder of digital marketing agency Markitors, uses a different approach: "I will write the email, save it as a draft, and then send during work hours. By not sending emails outside of office hours, I hope that employees stop checking their email and enjoy their life outside of the office."
Ask them to terminate another employee when they don't agree with that decision.
Firing an employee is a difficult task, and it can only be made more complicated if you and that employee's manager have a difference of opinion on whether to let them go.
Charlie Gilkey, principal of strategic planning business Productive Flourishing, advises you leave that decision up to that person's direct manager.
"Owners and managers sometimes disagree that a person needs to be let go, and in the case where there is a disagreement, it's better to hold the manager accountable for her decisions than require her to let go of someone when she disagrees that it's time," he says.
Take your word without explanation.
When discussing strategy shifts or other major changes, how transparent are you with your team regarding the decision making behind those changes?
"I try to manage by democracy, but in cases where I have to make a unilateral decision, I make sure to explain the big picture to my people so they understand why we're proceeding in a particular direction," says Alexandra Levit, founder and president of career-oriented business Inspiration at Work. "There is no 'because I said so' in my world."
Let you take credit for their work.
If your team has put long hours into a project, the last thing they want to see is you taking credit for all their hard work.
"I won't ever think that it's OK to take credit for work that they have done and then ask them to stand quietly by while I do," says Cynthia Johnson, director of brand development at recovery treatment business American Addiction Centers. "They deserve the praise, not me."
Instead, Johnson likes to call them out and commend their input in front of the rest of the team. "It's important to give recognition where it's due," she says. "It only serves to motivate them rather than demoralize them."
Ask them to do work you wouldn't do yourself.
Bryanne Lawless, owner of PR agency BLND Public Relations, believes that managers should never scoff at work they don't think is in their purview.
"Because things are constantly changing in PR, there are times I ask my employees to stay extra hours or work through lunch if there is a deadline we need to meet," she says. "Great leaders lead by example and earn the respect of their employees by showing them that they aren't above doing the grunt work."