Is your management style repelling employees from your business?

World Youth Day 2008 Concert (#458)
World Youth Day Concert (#458) (Photo credit: Christopher Chan)

In this economy when the pressure is on and you as the business owner expect your employees to perform, you may overreach and repel employees from staying in your business.

It takes a lot of thought to bring new employees into your business in the first place. You need to find out about their knowledge, skills, attitudes and attributes that fit with the core competencies of your entrepreneurial venture. All this time and money is wasted if you don’t treat your employees well.

Younger employees may pose a challenge because their expectations and limited experience may not match the requirements of your business. But you are not going to keep them if you continually fault find, criticise and give them projects or assignments that are outside their range of capabilities.

Bringing aboard young employees means that you need to be sensitive to their expectations and also give them clear directions. It pays to take time to show them the ropes and give them a chance to prove themselves rather than continually beating them with a whip. Shouting and threatening employees only shows your own weaknesses and your inadequacy as a leader in developing your staff for the future.

If you don’t have a system in place and the right attitudes to bring younger people into your business and nurture and grow them, then you will lose them. This means that you will end up only having a surplus of oldies in your business and no new fresh blood that can take over important roles in a few years’ time.

My son who is doing backbreaking work scrubbing and painting yachts in the Mediterranean told me the other day that the captain of the luxury yacht where he is working treats the crew very well. He is friendly to them all but is firm about them doing the work correctly. But he made sure that they work under conditions where everyone doesn’t feel harassed or treated like children. The captain, an Australian, has an even temperament and creates an enjoyable atmosphere board even though the work schedule could be bruising at times.

Yet you see in some businesses that the younger employees feel harassed and threatened unable to work effectively and give their best as managers beat them up to perform harder but provide very little input in the form of training, coaching and feedback. Some young people become so demoralised that they decide that the only course open to them is to leave the small business and search for work elsewhere. It’s not a decision that they make lightly especially in this economy and when there are bills to pay and they are just getting started in life and their careers.

While ineffective managers look for someone to blame, successful managers use their personal skill, enthusiasm and energy to motivate and inspire employees to do their best. They are also quick to find opportunities to pat employees on the back and give them recognition and reward them for exceptional performance. No one can work weeks or months on end never getting even a nod of recognition or simply a thank you for a job well done.

If you want to nurture your youngest employees into star performers of the future, you need to take time to be yourself with them and find out their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Your job is to get the work done in your business but at the same time see how you can use opportunities in projects and assignments to help them grow but at a pace that is challenging but not overwhelming.

Investing your time and energy in the employees that need you most will pay off not only in better service and delivery for your customers but also in improving your bottom line. As soon as employees know that you are on their side, they will start to come up with suggestions, new ideas and improvements that will benefit you and your business.

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