It’s not a secret that stress is part of everyday work — clients demand too much, co-workers do too little, and tasks never end. But, there’s one stressor that often gets unacknowledged by leaders. That is, the leaders themselves. How you behave and act towards your team can well be the reason they’re not being productive enough. Here are some of the oft-ignored habits of managers, which make employees so stressed out:
Withholding information from them
This often happens when a negative thing comes up. A manager usually says the team doesn’t have to know about the sales slump or a corporate downsizing that’s still in the works. It’s a way to somewhat cushion the blow of a disappointment or a looming change.
Here’s the thing: Sooner or later, your employees will know. They’re going to notice things, start asking, or just learn from a colleague who you secretly confided to. All this secrecy doesn’t help. It just encourages sneaky, whispered talks, increases insecurity overwork, and breaks trust with one another, especially you.
Remember that communication is the key to making relationships (and business) work. Don’t leave your team in the dark. Be transparent. Trust that your employees, the best talents you hired, can handle the worst of storms. They might just have the answers you need for the issues you’re facing. The darkest moments in your company may just be their chance to shine bright.
Dismissing employees’ opinions
Lack of communication is terribly stressful, but so is a lack of listening. It doesn’t just discourage employee participation, but in the long run, it harbors ill feelings among your team, as it communicates that you don’t care about them. If you keep dismissing others’ opinions, don’t be surprised when resignation letters land in your desk more frequently.
Of course, before that worst case scenario happens, go make it a habit to listen to your employees. Be intentional in soliciting opinions. Start by making it a habit to conduct a survey every after project or team-building activity, or with the simple gesture of asking them what they think about your office. Encourage and acknowledge their honest opinions. You’ll never know, they might just confirm your perceived need to shift into a ‘healthier workplace’ with sit-stand desks and ergonomic furniture.
Changing your mind frequently
For sure, you’ve encountered that frustrating client who you work for in a project for months, and then as you’re about to finish it, they decided to suggest revisions that are completely a deviation from the original work. It’s a major source of stress, right? Well, that’s the same feeling your employees have when you change your mind every now and then.
To get rid of this fickle-mindedness, spend a considerable amount of time in researching about the endeavor you’re about to do. Involve employees even at this stage. Then, based on what you’ve gathered, that’s when you filter out the excess and focus on the few things that meet your agreed goal. If you’ll be changing gears along the way, make sure that it’s really that necessary for you to reach your objective. It’s also important that you and your employees are aligned in the changes.
Your employees are the best assets of your company. Don’t drive them to frustration and burnout with your little ‘quirks’ and habits. Don’t stress them out.