What should I do if I think my employees hate me?

As a business owner or manager, it’s very important that your team sees you as a valuable leader. An efficient business is one that’s run by a happy team who feels appreciated, motivated, and supported by their managers.

However, life happens, and not everyone can get along with others as well as one might hope. Don’t worry, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate the situation if you find yourself at odds with an employee, or even your entire team. And luckily, it starts with an easy step: all you have to do is ask a few questions on what they’re disliking about you or how you run your business.

Ask for feedback

Forbes lists the ability to ask for feedback as a differentiating factor of successful leaders.   This habit allows managers to understand where employees are hitting roadblocks that cause frustration and a lack of motivation.  

Here’s a real-world example.  A manager at a party supply store was having a high rate of employee disciplinary issues but was unaware of the frustration the employees felt about their boss’s management style.  The employees felt their manager was scheduling too few employees per shift, thus causing employees to struggle to assist customers, prepare balloon orders, and keep the store in stock. As a result, the employees became increasingly frustrated, and work performance declined.  The manager, wondering why performance decline, requested feedback, and she quickly uncovered how employees really felt. Although she could not change the work schedule, she was able to communicate to employees her appreciation for their hard work and implemented processes to alleviate some of the work stress.

Asking for employee feedback is simple:

  1. Take time every few weeks to have a one-on-one conversation with your employees.
  2. Communicate what is going well and the goals you are continuing to strive for.
  3. Ask the employee if they have any feedback about your management style or about the business that can help you to achieve your goals more quickly.  

At first, employees may be reluctant to give much information but over time, your employees will feel more comfortable sharing how they really feel.  By implementing the habit of asking employees for feedback individually and earnestly, managers gain greater respect and commitment from their employees.  

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