How you’re demoralizing your workers (without even knowing it)
Companies would like to have happy employees, as happy employees are more productive and are committed to staying at that company.
That means that most companies try to do their best to have hiring, gender and compensation rules that comply with their country’s labour laws. Some companies, despite their policies, when they find out that their employees are unhappy, are puzzled. They adhere to the policies, they’re flexible, they promote on merit, so why are people unhappy?
The company is demoralizing their employees without realizing it. They’ve looked after the big-ticket items but have ignored the small things.
Matt* worked at a company that redesigned their cubicles. The new desks were smaller than their old ones, people couldn’t see over the dividers and overall, everyone affected hated the new set up. The issue was HR didn’t consult with the people who would be affected by the move.
When employees are not given the opportunity to provide feedback on decisions that affect them, it gives them the sense that the company does not value their input.
Maria* had a list of small things that built up over time. She said, “Bosses who play favourites and give more privileges to some employees. Pushing out employees for issues of appearance/age – it happened at one of my jobs.
Pat* experienced it first-hand, “[My boss] pointed out my grey hair during a performance review.”
Ageism is illegal but still happens. Favouritism is harder to prove. Knowing that your manager favours another employee, especially if there isn’t a good reason, can derail a department’s morale.
A lack of control
We all like to feel in control of our careers and hate it when that control is removed by managers or even coworkers. Barbara* says, “[There were] changes at work where during a meeting I was told about my new position and to smile for a photo. First time I had no control over my career.”
Not of you but of your time. An occasional missed meeting is fine. We’re all busy and sometimes forget to look at our calendar but when your manager consistently misses vital meetings because he or she didn’t bother to look at their schedule, their employees wonder if they should bother communicating with their manager.
Tricia* says, “When your wise superior decides to move meetings around to suit his or her needs or fails to plan or attend a company required employee review. I feel very, very special. I am so important to my employer that they might, maybe, have time to talk about my yearly career path in about a month, maybe, if I book it. Awesome.”
Paying lip service
How many times have you filled out a survey and nothing happened? Kate* has experienced this and says, “if you do an employee survey, you have to act on the results. Otherwise, you’re actively driving disengagement among your employees.”
This is a common issue. Rachel* agrees, “Paying lip service to consultations but not actually accepting or following up on the recommendations.”
The issue with ignoring the small things is that eventually they become big issues. Employees leave the company and soon that happy company becomes a toxic one.
*All names changed by request
Category: Human Resources, Management,