5 things you should never say to your employees


As an entrepreneur or manager, your work is not the easiest. You need to train, guide and constantly motivate your employees to work towards a common goal. It is a common myth that bosses can get away with what they do. They might not be as accountable to authorities or superiors as employees are, but bad behaviour on a boss’s part will affect not just their team’s morale negatively, it will even reflect negatively on the company’s growth.

Image : shutterstock

But bosses are human, too, and they also have bad days like anyone else. However, as a boss or supervisor, there is a certain boundary you are expected, not to cross. However bad your day was or however angry or frustrated you are, there are some things you should never say to your employees. You need to be sensitive to your employees’ feelings and should know better than anyone how one wrong word can make your loyal and dedicated employees disgruntled, demotivated and resentful. So here are five things you should never say to your employees:

“I hate my job!”

Your job may not be the best or the easiest, but this doesn’t mean that you vent this frustration out to your juniors. Remember, you are a leader, and it is your job to guide them effectively and help them put in their best at work. If you do not like your own job and make the mistake of broadcasting it to your team, how are they going to look up to you or rather be interested in putting in time and effort to completing their work? Understand that there may be things that you dislike doing as part of your job role, but if you are frustrated, talk to your seniors or peers and not to those whom you are supervising.

“If you don’t do your job well, I can easily find a replacement.”

Saying this just conveys how little you value your employees. It is hard to motivate employees to work for you if you think they are easily replaceable or don’t add anything to your workplace. This will only make good, discerning employees look for another job or send the weaker ones right back into their shells. Be polite and offer suggestions as to how a job can be done better. Express confidence in your employee’s ability and tell them they are capable of delivering much better results.

“I’m not sure how to help you.”/ “Figure it out on your own; it’s not my job.”

There’s nothing more discomforting than a boss or manager who shuts you out or doesn’t stand up for you when you raise an issue. You may not have the solution to every problem, but make sure that you offer support, guidance and advice to employees that will help them reach the necessary solution. Good leaders take responsibility for their actions. By shirking away responsibility or shrugging away blame, you are only setting up a bad example that will only make you feel sorry when you see employees following suit in the future.

“So-and-so does the job so well. Why can’t you?”

Stop comparing your employees and their work. Understand that each one of them is different and has been hired for a unique reason. By comparing them, you are unnecessarily pitting them against each other and creating unhealthy competition at the workplace. Also, never complain about an employee to another. However close you may be with them, it is highly unprofessional and immature to gossip about an employee’s shortcomings or problems to their co-workers. Both of this only leads to a negative morale, decreased productivity and spreading toxicity in your workplace.

“It’s okay. This is just a small client/sale.”

Never encourage or ask your staff to treat high-paying clients differently. Even if you can ask them to pay more attention to your top-rung of clients, never make the mistake of telling them that they can have it their way with a low-paying client. This will only set you up for less-than-average levels of customer service and will also lead to infighting and internal politics between employees on who gets to take up which client’s account. Also, do not let a mistake made in respect to a low-paying client’s work go unnoticed. You need not penalise them if the loss is not significant, but take care not to make it know that you let it slide. This will only make them think that you don’t care about accuracy and precision when it comes to the bottom 20 percent of your clientele and will make them want to give in work that is not up to the mark.

All said, it is part of your job to communicate well to your employees. A good boss sets a good example, inspires good work, acknowledges and praises their team’s achievements and never humiliates employees in public. Listen to your employees before you blurt out to them. Be empathetic to their needs. Remember, only motivated and loyal employees can take your company to success.