Great ways to kill morale, a combination of three related articles recently published by Travis Bradberry for LinkedIn. Managers blame turnover problems while ignoring the crux on the matter: people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. The more demanding your job is and the less control over what you have to do, the more likely you are to suffer. People whose work meets those criteria are more likely to experience exhaustion, poor sleep, anxiety, and depression. This suffering can be avoided. The following offenders must be eliminated in order to hang on to good employees:
Holding people back.
Playing the blame game.
Frequent threats of firing. Makes employees feel disposable, even if the manager is “just joking.” Better to find a job where they’ll be valued and receive the respect they deserve.
Not letting people pursue their passions.
Withholding praise. It’s easy to underestimate the power of a sincere pat on the back, even with intrinsically motivated top performers. Everyone likes praise, especially those who work hard and give their all despite being surrounded by slackers. Managers need to communicate with their people to figure
The six month rule: not letting employees transfer for the first six months they’ve been in a new position. This could hold people in positions they’re not suited for.
Ridiculous requirements for attendance, leave, and time off. Especially salaried employees. Don’t ding them for being five minutes late when they’re working nights and weekends (though hourly workers see the bad example and think they can get away with it as well). Requiring documentation for bereavement and sick leave.
Shutting down self-expression. What people keep on their desks. Dress codes. Hire professionals and they’ll dress professionally. Managers can address violators individually as opposed to making strict rules for everyone.
Restricting internet use. Where to draw the line?
Bell curves and forced rankings of performance. Some talents follow a natural curve, but job performance does not. When you force employees to fit a pre-determined ranking system you (1) incorrectly evaluate them (2) make people feel like a number and (3) create insecurity and dissatisfaction.
Banning mobile phones. Instead hire people who are trustworthy and won’t take advantage. Train managers to deal with underperformers and violate expectations. Banning phones demoralizes good employees.
Stealing frequent-flyer miles. That’s one thing road-weary employees earn. A greedy move that fuels resentment with every flight.
Draconian email policies. Another trust issue. Hurts the rule followers – the bad guys will find a way around the rule.
Limiting bathroom breaks.
Political correctness. Limiting “Bless you” and “Merry Christmas” creates paranoia and stifles self-expression without improving how people treat each other.
NOTE: for the most part my company does a decent job avoiding most of these issues.