If you’re like most managers or supervisors, you’re probably (hopefully?) trying to get the most out of your employees or team members.
That’s good. You should be. Because that makes sense.
And thankfully there are plenty of articles that can help you with that. Like this one, that one or even the one way over there.
But I realized that for the segment out there trying to get the least out of your team, there just aren’t a lot of great resources.
If that’s you, read on. I’ve got some practical ideas just for you below.
So, here are 3 Killer Tips For Getting The LEAST Out Of Your Employees:
#1 Make Them Feel Lost
There are certainly a lot of ways to do this, but UEA (Un-Explained Acronyms) are one of my absolute favorites.
Now, when used properly, acronyms certainly have their place and can save time (who wants to say “Research and Development” when you can just say “R&D”?).
But UEAs are when you use lots of acronyms often but don’t make it easy for people to find out what they mean.
In doing so, your team member ends up feeling like an outsider who’s not allowed into the exclusive club.
This is especially true with new employees. They come in all ready to jump in and make a difference and are instantly bombarded with TPSs, OMLs, FMEAs and FIFOs. It sometimes makes them want to QUIT ASAP.
They don’t want to ask what the acronyms mean because they assume they must be the only person who doesn’t know. And so they just keep quiet, feel lost, and wonder.
Newbies certainly aren’t the only ones though. I’ve seen plenty of seasoned vets (myself included at times) who still have no idea what a term stands for even after all those years. But you’ll never catch them fessing up to it.
It doesn’t have to just be acronyms though. You can make employees feel lost about a number of things just by the way you communicate to them.
It could be in a presentation, an email, a meeting, you name it. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure your words convey that employees should already know what the “thing” is and you’ll be sure to keep them feeling lost.
This one works really well for helping to get the least out of them.
Our next tip is right up there with it….
#2 Don’t Value Their Opinion
There are few ways to really miss out on an employee’s potential as good as this one. To explain, let’s use Bob.
Let me introduce you to Bob. Bob… reader. Reader… Bob.
OK, that was a little awkward when you went in for the virtual hand shake there and Bob gave you the fist bump instead… and you wrapped your hand around his fist. Weird….
Anyway… you hired Bob because you liked him. He was sharp. He was someone you felt you could trust.
You brought Bob onto the team because you thought he could make your company better.
And he could. He certainly has that potential.
Now let’s pretend that Bob has been working on a project and has spent a considerable amount of time with it.
He knows it inside and out, has ideas on how to make things better, what should be changed and more. Some of Bob’s ideas could have a huge impact on not only his project, but the way your company runs things.
But over and over, when Bob shares his ideas they go nowhere.
Sometimes, he feels like he’s just not being heard. Other times, he’s told flat out that “that won’t work” or “we’ve tried that”
Other times, Bob is flat out left outside the loop on discussions related to his area and then forced to deal with decisions made that he knows aren’t going to help.
So Bob gets the message over time and begins to just keep his ideas to himself, even as he sees what could have been with his projects.
Want to get the least out of Bob? This formula is a can’t miss.
#3 Keep Changing Things Up On Them
This one is a classic and sure to drop your productivity like a rock!
Let’s revisit our good friend Bob.
Bob has been working hard on a project and has a big due date Friday.
Because he’s not a shlub, Bob has been planning things out and is on pace to meet the big deadline.
That is, until the email.
What email, you ask?
Oh, the email that Bob just got on Monday afternoon changing up the requirements and moving the due date up to Wednesday.
Now, Bob can understand that sometimes things will change with a customer and he’s learned to roll with that.
But this email represents what has become more of a pattern for Bob. He does his work and stays on task but then has to pay the price for poor planning and communication from elsewhere in the organization.
But now Bob has to fill in the gaps, move around other priorities and then impose on others who are working on the requirements for him to let them know that they have to do the same.
Bob feels disrespected and small.
He doesn’t like being yanked around. And he doesn’t like doing the same to others.
But both of those are great ways to get the least out of Bob.
#4 Add Unnecessary Steps
Yep, surprise! One more bonus tip.
Unnecessary steps can weave their way into processes, procedures, standards and more.
They can come from “the way things have always been done” or from a specific team member who dictates things have to be a certain way.
But while order and uniformity are essential in some areas, many businesses are bogged down with outdated ideas or processes that just suck time out of the company.
And when an employee comes along who has ideas for how to trim some of that but is forced to just conform… you will begin to get less and less from them.
Less productivity because of the extra steps and less of their heart as they realize they are powerless to make a difference.
When you add unnecessary work onto the backs of your hard working employees, it is a no-brainer that you can get less and less of them.
So, want to see your productivity soar, your employees happy and thriving and the morale improve in your organization?
Stay as far away from these tips as possible!
But want to get the LEAST from your workforce?
Start implementing these four tips today! You won’t regret it.
What about you? What can you add to the list? Share below in the comments…