Everyone bites their tongue around the boss – it’s basic office etiquette. Whether it’s the intern watching their step around their manager, or the CEO tiptoeing around the board of directors, everyone has a few things they wish they could say to the higher-ups.
Today, let’s put office etiquette aside and look at the top eight things that employees wish they could tell their boss:
1. “Get off my back and let me do my job.”
One of the biggest complaints that employees have about their managers is micromanagement. Asking employees to document everything, send hourly reports, and check in on every little development is a serious hindrance to productivity – and morale.
2. “I don’t want to go to another meeting. Ever.”
Ah, meetings. They steal away those productive work hours, and often leave participants with nothing to show for them. The issue from an employee’s point of view, however, is that they’re expected to attend every meeting they’re invited to and still get all their work done, which can leave them feeling like they’re not in control of their work day. There are plenty of ways that you can stop wasting time in meetings, but it’s also important to be aware of your employees’ schedules and advocate for them when they’re bring included in too many meetings.
3. “I want a raise.”
All of your employees want and need more money. All of them. Yes, employees are increasingly enticed to roles by the promise of training, development, benefits, and all the other things that make a workplace great, but they do care about salary. And the longer they’re with an employer, the more money they want to make – and if they’re not getting salary increases from you, they’ll start looking around for greener pastures.
4. “Please don’t fire me.”
Employees are constantly worried about their job security. We’ve all heard the horror stories of being let go the day after buying a house or having a baby, and the fear of that happening can be crippling – and frustrating. Your employees don’t need a daily promise that they won’t get fired, but they do need constant communication and timely updates on any shifts or changes taking place in the company.
5. “You should fire that person.”
It’s one thing if one employee’s personality doesn’t agree with another employee. It’s another thing altogether if an employee feels that they are picking up the slack of an underperforming colleague. This kind of issue can cause bigger rifts in the team, and disrupt engagement, motivation, and productivity. Encourage your employees to come to you with issues and concerns about workload and responsibilities, and keep an eye out for the warning signs that these problems are taking place.
6. “I wish you’d stop taking credit for my work.”
Sometimes managers do this on purpose. Sometimes they do it inadvertently. Either way, employees will often perceive this move as petty and childish. Here’s a tip: watch your use of the word “we.” If you say that “we” came up with an idea, or that “we” are starting an initiative, make sure that you actually mean that it was a group effort. Otherwise, give individual credit where credit is due.
7. “Give me some #$@*ing feedback.”
Employees hate the “no news is good news” policy. They need to know what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong – and they need to know often. It’s an employee’s worst nightmare to find out that you aren’t happy with their performance while they’re being fired.
8. “I don’t want to go to another work party.”
Some of your employees find it difficult to socialize with work acquaintances outside of a work setting. Others would simply prefer to spend any free time they have with their own friends and family. That doesn’t mean they’re not team players, or that they don’t care about their jobs, they just don’t want to party with their coworkers – an increasingly contentious issue, as the focus on culture in the modern workplace continues to grow.
Not all of these sentiments will apply to all of your employees – just like not all of the complaints will apply to all managers. But being aware of these common issues that your employees will likely never say directly to you (thanks to office etiquette) will encourage trust, communication, and engagement.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you ready to respond to your employees’ questions? What’s the toughest question you’ve ever fielded? We want to know. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.