5 Things Every Smart Leader Should STOP Doing Right Now

As a leader, one of the biggest challenges you can face is how to better engage with employees and coworkers. According to Towers Watson – HR Consulting Company, every 4 out of 5 employees are not fully engaged with work or delivering according to their full potential. Have you taken a moment to think about all the negative habits you should STOP and how to start productive behaviors at your workplace?

Ultimately, many employees attest that their bosses are the problem and their primary reason for leaving a job. So, here are 5 things every competent leader should STOP doing right now:

1. Stop Declaring Everything a Work Emergency

Plan and prioritize your team’s workload and set boundaries and expectations on incoming projects. In every work environment, it’s common to see many priority-based work performed by staff at different levels. However, if a leader and their department are highly unorganized, it’s too common to see more work emergencies happen often due to the timeline crunches. 

2. Stop Making Employees Feel like Taking Time Off to Go on Vacation is a Crime

Employees love a supportive boss who will likely understand them and their situation, especially if they’ve had their vacation scheduled for a while. Great bosses understand that things take time to plan and can be a big financial commitment, and they work with empathy and flexibility to go the extra mile for their employees. 

3. Stop the Habit of Multi-tasking When an Employee Asks you a Question

Have you been in a situation where your direct report is unresponsive to a question? A great leader always takes time to listen and respond to employee questions without delay. However, it is not to say that leaders should spend extra time or must answer every question based on confidentiality, competitive data, or company or legal policy. Still, a true leader will always provide a rational reason and spend time with their employees when necessary.

4. Stop Taking Away Their Benefits 

Most employers pay anywhere from $7,000 to $25,000 annually for employee benefits. However, reversing a policy and putting your employees at a financial disadvantage can be a sure way to kill productivity, morale, and loyalty. 

5. Stop Discouraging Ideas and Suggestions

Negative and instantaneous responses to employees’ ideas and suggestions, such as “It won’t work,” “You can’t do that here,” and “That’s not feasible,” will turn off your employees every time.

A positive move can change the course of a division’s productivity and an organization’s success. Daily complaints or negativity can impact employees who perform at a higher level and show up to work to make a compact to an organization and cause unwarranted workplace stress. Also, constantly making hostile comments about each idea disguised as “devil’s advocate” can decrease innovation and creativity, which will plague the growth of any organization. Identifying negative behaviors and finding avenues to change them from undesirable to optimistic is part of great employee engagement. 

The good news is, there are steps leaders can take to improve and maintain the motivation levels of their teams. The challenge is to figure out what, when, and how to execute it. 

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