- Don’t talk to them about anything personal to them. Your employees like to remember that they are human and that at work, their home lives are also appreciated and taken into consideration. If you want to alienate them, make sure you never ask about their families, weekends or holidays.
- Don’t praise them. When your staff do well for your company and put in the extra work that separates an average job from an excellent one, they deserve praise. Here’s a wacky idea: if you praise them they might just do that excellent job again next time. If you don’t praise, they definitely won’t.
- Only give negative feedback. Along with not praising them, pointing out solely what they’ve done wrong is a sure fire way to lose staff. However be careful with this one: If you praise them when they do well and provide constructive feedback when they don’t perform to the required standard, they will probably think you’re being reasonable and be eager to please. If you want to alienate them, make sure you only give the negatives!
- Don’t understand what they like and dislike. I’m not talking about ice-cream flavours. Some employees will love networking or cold calling. Others will hate them. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do them, it just means that it may be harder for them to do the things they don’t like. So if you want to alienate them, pay no attention to what they like and reward them with activities they hate: e.g.: “thanks for all the number crunching, how about a nice afternoon of cold calling”. (Quick tip here, the easiest way to work out what your employees like is through a simple psychometric, NEVER do one of these if you don’t want to keep your staff)
- Pay no attention to relationships between employees. Some employees get on together, others can’t stand each other. If you make sure never to pay attention to this you can always alienate staff by assuming they get on great with their co-workers. Easy!
- Assume the worst. If someone is unusually late for work, assume that it is because they are lazy good-for-nothings. They haven’t bothered to get out of bed or leave five minutes earlier. It is not because there has been a home emergency, or a car accident that they couldn’t foresee. To make sure they know that you think they’re lazy, when they come in flushed from running up the stairs ready to apologise, say to them “late night last night was it?” and walk off.
- Don’t acknowledge their work. In some ways this is an even better way to alienate your staff than refusing to praise them. When they complete a task, don’t mention it at all. That way they’ll feel that that report they spent 3 months writing hasn’t been read and is of no use to the company.
- Forget their name. This one’s brilliant. They’ll be so baffled as to why you can’t remember their name when they’ve been in and out of your office for the last six months that they’ll forget to correct you, and then they’ll feel so worried about the ensuing misnomers that they might just hand in their resignation the next day.
- When they go on leave (which you personally approved), send them an e-mail each day asking why they haven’t shown up for work. It’s a great cause of stress when they get back!
- Pass off their ideas as your own. You can’t praise them because that might make your staff feel valued. So even if you think they’ve suggested something clever, dismiss it and at the next meeting, paraphrase it for yourself. Whereas previously they may have thought it must not have been a good idea, this strategy has the added bonus of making them hate your guts.
So there you have it! 10 simple steps to losing staff and alienating your employees. Please feel free to add to this list, there are those out there desperate for these tips!
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