15 Ways Managers Can Stop Alienating Employees

Linda ReyesBlogging, Forbes Coaches Counsel

As a manager, it is your responsibility to provide inclusiveness with your staff. You need to encourage, grow, and offer guidance when needed.

But oftentimes, well-meaning advice can actually work to alienate employees without your realizing it.

Finding ways to work with the diverse group of employees that you have on staff and the wide range of personalities that they possess can make you a more effective manager. It can eliminate that feeling of not belonging to your staff and allow your employees (new or old) to feel more a part of the team.

Below, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council share some of the more common ways managers might sometimes alienate employees and how they can avoid this.

All images courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions

It is easy to jump in and “help” an employee based on your prior experience as a manager, rather than slowing down to ask probing questions to identify the root cause of the employee’s challenge. It is important to clarify in a respectful manner, then ask the employee what type of support would be most valuable to their success. – Maureen Metcalf,Metcalf & Associates, Inc

2. Genuinely Care About Employees

It can come down to one word: caring! Demonstrating that you truly care about your employees’ personal and professional well-being is part of what great managers do. If the employees know their manager cares about them as a person, they will walk through fire for them. If they believe the opposite, they will let the manager walk off a cliff. Caring gets to the heart of employee engagement. – Jan Makela, Strength Based Leadership

3. Communicate Openly

Employees feel alienated if they feel like they don’t know what is going on in the organization, what the big picture is, or what is happening in their particular division. To avoid this, have regular communications with to your employees as a group so that everyone is on the same page, as well as regular one-on-ones to ensure open and regular communication and enable employees to ask questions and provide feedback. – Monica Thakrar, MTI

4. Never Talk Down To Your People

When the manager starts acting as if they’re above the workforce, they’re in trouble. A manager must focus on lifting people up and holding them accountable for their actions. The manager must not be above the rules either. They must set the pace and be the leader, even if that means taking responsibility for the actions of others on their team. – Ryan Stewman, Hardcore Closer LLC

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5. Step Into Your Old Shoes

Managers live deep in the throes of emerging issues. They can be immersed in something for weeks or months before they are ready to engage employees in it. Yet managers forget their own concerns and objections because they have since resolved them, and too often dismiss employee concerns as trivial because of it. Managers will gain trust by sharing their concerns and how they got addressed. – Maureen Cunningham, Up Until Now Inc.

6. Stop Micromanaging

Managers who micromanage will alienate staff and have a disengaged workforce. Providing sufficient training that builds skill, confidence and motivation is the answer to ensuring staff can do the job independently. Then, delegate and let go of the nitty, gritty details. Supervise by ensuring the outcome is being met as expected, and don’t interfere with how it gets done. – Karin Naslund, Naslund Consulting Group Inc.

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