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8 Sentences That Drive Employees Crazy

Recently, Inc. Magazine published an article titled, "8 Sentences That Drive Bosses Crazy." It's only fair to provide a similar list of statements frequently said by bosses (and employers). So, today's blog post presents 8 sentences bosses (or employers) that drive employees crazy -- given the focus of this blog on identity theft, privacy, wage abuse, and corporate responsibility.

Being an employee isn't easy today. Bosses demand more work in less time. Employees usually have to juggle multiple, simultaneous projects with deadlines that seem to get shorter and shorter. Often, employees must satisfy the needs of multiple bosses; some in the same chain of command. Plus, bosses in other departments frequently provide feedback into employees' annual performance reviews.

If you are an employee, perhaps you have heard your boss say one or more of the sentences below. If you are a boss or senior-level executive, these are eight sentences, or situations, you want to avoid.

1. "Do the job exactly as I tell you to do it."

Okay. While you are unquestionably the boss, we also know our jobs very well; especially if we have long tenure. You may have performed our job years or decades ago. Things change. We have minds. We often innovate. Respect your staff and employees for that.

2. "This is my idea so I get full credit for it."

Good ideas are essential, but a boss is part of the team they manage. It may have been the boss' idea, but the staff probably implemented it. Respect your staff by giving credit for both the idea and the implementation. Respect your staff and they will work hard for you. Respect is earned. So, if you want and expect the respect of the employees that work for you, then you had better work to earn it.

3. "Pay checks will be late."

We employees understand that business is tough. Just as bosses expect employees to arrive on time for work, we employees expect bosses (and employers) to pay us on time. Timely payroll is a responsibility and commitment. Find a way to pay your employees fully, accurately, and on time. Do not ask which employees can wait to be paid. Do not ask which employees can accept a partial paycheck. Do not skip final paychecks. Our creditors (e.g.,landlords, utilities, banks) expect us to pay their bilto on time.

If you can't pay your employees, then you are telling us that either you don't have the money to pay us or you choose not to pay us. Neither is good. Both suggest that you may not know how to manage your business as well as you think. Both suggest to employees to look for another job. You might find the cash to pay us by reducing the huge salaries and/or bonuses of your senior executives.

4. "Yes it's 4:00 pm on Saturday, but I need you to do this work now."

This can be a phone call, e-mail message, or text message. If we employees normally work weekends, then the request is fine. Otherwise, it is disrespectful. We have lives, including family members that need our time and attention. Our job as employees is to do the work. Your job as boss is to plan ahead and clear obstacles so we can complete our work on time, accurately, as expected during normal business hours.

5. "We'll investigate the problems you reported about the company's 401-K retirement plan."

Employees never want to hear this. We know that business is tough, and we expect the company to make timely contributions to employees' retirement plan accounts as the law provides. The company retirement plan is not your private cash or slush fund. If employees first found problems with your retirement plan contributions, then your credibility is already suspect because you didn't find the problem and notify your employees. We expect any problems to be investigated and resolved immediately and completely, with a correction plan implemented fully and quickly. Don't delay. Don't make excuses. Both further erode your already weak credibility.

6. "Our company had a data breach, and your personal data was exposed."

We employees understand that business is tough, and there are lots of bad guys out there. It is the company's responsibility to adequately protect the sensitive personal information it has collected about of employees, contractors, and former employees. Don't cut corners on data security just to save money. Don't make us pay monthly fees for credit monitoring services because of data you failed to protect. And, don't say our sensitive personal was "exposed." It probably was stolen. You know that. We know that. Identity thieves and criminals steal identity information so they can use it, or sell it, to make money.

7. "We don't have the money to pay for upgrades to the latest software."

You hired your employees to do a quality job. Don't hamper our ability to get the job done at the quality level you expect. Do not place obstacles in our way. If you can't afford to pay for software upgrades, you are indicating that you may not know how to manage your business as well as you think. Provide your employees with the appropriate tools. Your competition does. Don't delay or make excuses. Both erode your credibility.

8. "Oops, I forgot to tell you about that."

Employees don't like surprises either. (See statements #3, 5, and 6.) We work hard to do our jobs done on time in the high-quality manner you expect. It's better to communicate openly, honestly, and directly. We know our jobs best and can often see inter-dependencies or obstacles you may not understand nor see as quickly.


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