For all the talk about taking action to have an impact or make a difference, there are some times when not taking action can have an even bigger impact – but maybe not quite the impact you want.
I don’t think anything is worse than be ignored by your boss, especially when your boss owns the company. In the past year, I have heard comments from employees from “it hurts my feelings”, “I don’t know if I did something”, to “they don’t care about their own business”.
Maybe nothing could be further from the truth. You probably care a lot about your business. Maybe you’re just busy running around trying to get business, so you can stay in business. Or, maybe you don’t talk to them often because you don’t have expertise in their job. You figure it is better to stay away than to look stupid or mess it all up. Or, they could be right, and you are ignoring them because you aren’t happy with something they are doing and you aren’t sure how or when you can deal with it.
Regardless of the truth, by ignoring them, you’re having a big impact – and making things a lot worse.
When you are the owner of the company, people want to please you. They do. By default of your position. And if you are a respectable, nice person, then they really want to please you.
Big Problems Caused by Ignoring Your Employees
The inaction of ignoring employees can have a big effect – and create many problems, like:
- Not Meeting Your Expectations. Things may not get done the way you want them because you are not communicating what you want. You may think it is obvious, but three employees later I hope you are seeing that it isn’t. What you believe is common sense as the owner may not register to an employee who hasn’t been oriented, trained, or managed.
- Distraction from the work at hand. If the employee doesn’t know why you are ignoring them, they may at first try to find out. They will waste time asking others, fretting over it, trying to get your attention just to see if you are actually ignoring them. It is the beginning of a bigger problem.
- Becoming Disengaged. The worst cancer an organization can have is a disengaged employee. Once disengaged, they really don’t care. There lack of caring is also obvious to everyone else, not just you. It impacts the whole team. And not managed can lower the standards for your whole team.
If the employee has done something that bothers you or is a performance issue, you need to address it. I just wrote a post on pain-free ways to address employee issues and accountability.
From Disengaged to Engaged in 15 Minutes
If it is just you – you are just too busy – you can still take a few minutes to talk to the employee or employees. Even if all you do is explain that you are trying to grow business or recruit other team members, or trying to improve your own time management – you can undo most of the harm of ignoring them in the past. How long does it really take to let them know that they are important to you and set up a couple of times to check in on them and just visit?
A 15 minute visit to see how they are doing can go a long way in keeping the team motivated and engaged in their job and your business.
If you don’t have time to even check in regularly with your team, you may need to work on your own prioritization and time management.
Get Help Before Your Business Gets Stuck
We can help you to focus on what is most important so that you can build a strong foundation for your business to grow on. Many small business owners get stuck. It is usually because the business foundation isn’t in place and they are wearing too many hats.
The business can’t grow beyond how far you can stretch.
As a first step, I would advise you to sign-up in the sidebar for our Crossroads Clarity Kit. We have an assessment that will help you figure out what steps were missed in your foundation so you can begin to work on the areas that will get you unstuck.
If you need more help, please call us for a free consult as to how coaching may help you.