How to tell if your employees hate you

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Everyone’s heard the hackneyed break-up phrase, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.

It’s an eyeroll-inducing sentiment, but it could be the truth when it comes to employee relations.

You could be overlooking signs that things are heading down the path towards employee hatred.

In a Sydney Morning Herald blog post, James Adonis, co-founder and managing director of Team Leaders, pointed out several ways to tell if employees are “allergic to your management style”, including a lack of information-sharing.

“Of priority to your employees is their protection. This means they withhold information because they fear you’ll either shoot the messenger or react irrationally. This applies to you if you find yourself thinking or saying at work: ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me this earlier?’”

According to Adonis, other things to look out for include a lack of compliments coming your way from staff and an anxiousness to leave the office on time every day.

“They’re out the door by 5pm. Or whatever time they’re supposed to finish and not a minute later. Ten minutes before the end, they’re already packing up. And, if you look carefully, they’re winding down even when there’s 30 minutes to go.”

In an About.com article, HR expert Susan Heathfield wrote that in the employees’ world, the difference between a good boss and a bad boss was the way they made the workers feel.

“They also assess the boss based on his or her contribution – or lack thereof – to their ability to get their jobs done successfully.”

Her reasons for employee ill-will towards managers include treating workers disrespectfully, not giving credit where it’s due and over-managing good employees.

“Even earnest managers can make an incorrect assessment about how much managing an employee needs,” she wrote.

“When you trust your employees and let them figure out how to accomplish their job, you call forth their significant contributions.”

If assigning work is an uphill battle, it’s a sign of underlying problems, according to a Salary for Business article.

“Employees who enjoy their jobs are more likely to offer assistance when they don’t have to, if only to impress the boss.”

The article said that recognising the signs of an unhappy workforce was the first step to fixing interpersonal issues and could lead to improved productivity.

“Sometimes the problem is as simple as letting them know they are appreciated just as much as their work is.”

How do you keep your employees happy? What advice would you give to managers with unhappy workforces?

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