Talk to any small business owner about the problems they are having with their employees and one of the main complaints you will hear is, “They won’t do what I tell them to do. Most owners think the problem is with the employees. But, the good news is that most of the problem is with the owner. Yes, good news.
If the problem is with you, the owner, then the solution is also with you. The best kinds of problems to have are the ones where you can take control and influence change. The worse kinds of problems to have are the ones that are dependent on other people to fix them.
Unfortunately, the majority of owners do not see it that way. They do not want to do the job of managing; they want the employees to manage themselves. This seldom, if ever, works. No one will, or should, care more about the success of your business than you.
Here are 4 of the most common errors a lot of owners make.
Poor communication skills – The biggest problem people have with communication is assuming it has taken place. Good communication skills do not come naturally to many of us; we have to be taught them. An owner who wants to be successful will make an effort to learn these skills. They will make your professional and – added bonus – personal life easier.
Want to be the “Nice Guy” – These owners are more worried about being liked than managing effectively. However, what they see as niceness is frequently a cover up for weakness. People will like you and still take advantage of you. You can be liked and respected for being a tough, but fair manager – rather than just liked, but disrespected for being a pushover.
Poor or no follow through – Countless owners mistakenly believe, “I should only have to tell my employees something once and they should do it.” This thinking shows a poor understanding of human behavior. People have to be managed by a repetitive 3 step process – clear instruction, active supervision and immediate consequences for poor work or praise for good work.
Inconsistency – You have legitimate complaints about your employees, and they have some about you. One of the biggest is inconsistent management. Do you say one thing and then do another? Do you change your mind from day to day? Do you tell people to do something and someone else tells them something different? Do you make promises and not keep them? Bottom line – if you are untrustworthy people do not feel obliged to listen to what you say.
Changing ourselves is not easy. But, a little learning, some coaching and regular practice will go a long way towards reducing the problem of getting people to listen to you. If you are consistent, most employees will welcome the positive changes and perform better. Also, your new skills and knowledge will help you effectively deal with the few employees who cannot be helped. You will finally be listened to as an owner.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: