Retail Observer

August 2014

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 45 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM AUGUST 2014 46 A s a leader or manager you likely have to deal with numerous dynamics that are involved in managing your workforce. One specific challenge is dealing with a group of frustrated employees. Leadership itself can sometimes be the direct or subtle cause of employee frustration. It is possible that some unintentional things you do may be part of the problem rather than the solution. This is why it becomes important to identify possible reasons why some employees display a lack of motivation, apathy, appear to be turned off, or why they exhibit a sense of coolness toward your style of leadership or management. We can begin with: • Feigned Listening Because of daily pressures and time constraints, it becomes easy to listen, but not actually hear what employees are saying. If this is so, you have hit on a frustration that most employees feel is at the top of their list of irritants. Are you asking your employees what's wrong, while really listening to their responses? Do you allow them to vent their fears, and other important feelings about things going on in the workplace without becoming anxious or short? Are you careful to maintain eye contact to show that you're interested in what they have to say? Do you use effective body language as well? If so, you no doubt are on the way to getting things back under control. That is unless you fail to offer possible suggestions in a friendly way, and can't resist the urge to give personal advice, even when it is not needed or asked for. • Being Undermined Another frustration comes from feeling demoralized. Employees can easily get hurt or upset when they feel they are being undermined. Even if being unintentional, you can bring this about without having any awareness as to what is going on in the minds of your employees. Undermining can be done through obvious as well as subtle ways. Sometimes it can come from assigning employees with tasks that aren't challenging enough, which automatically feeds feelings of low self worth and incompetence. Making implications that reflect employees are falling short of expectations, or are unable to measure up to an important assignment or even daily tasks, will certainly bring about negative reactions. It automatically reinforces a perception that you think they are of little value. This in turn fuels inward resentment or disappointment. This is why it is so very important to keep a close watch on how employees react to what you are doing, and what and how you are saying something. It will go a long way to help build or restore employee confidence, and work related job satisfaction. • Unclear Direction Sometimes your employees may not understand where they are going or are supposed to be going, and why. It is up to you to help them see the organizational vision clearly and vividly. Often times communication can get hindered, leaving you to think your employees understand your course of direction and understand where you are wanting to take them, but the vision and its transparency, is only in reality, clear to you. Are you continually asking questions until you know for sure your employees get and embrace the vision you want imparted? Are you certain they have a complete understanding of how they fit into the picture of things, as clearly as you do? If your employees don't see your vision clearly or feel your enthusiasm about attaining it, they will not be as passionate about it as you want them to be. • Readjusting Goals and Timelines Employees can get extremely frustrated when you keep adjusting goals and timelines without giving them any good reasons for doing it. It also leaves them feeling out of the loop and frustrated when they do not have any participation in setting the goals they are expected to reach. Are you allowing your employees to be part of setting certain important goals and sharing input into others will help them develop a sense of "goal ownership"? It certainly will become a great driver to see that they are reached effectively and efficiently without adding any undo frustration of feeling or being overworked to get things accomplished. RO Timothy Bednarz Team Training Contact Timothy Bednarz at 715.342.1018 or at Excerpt from: A Team's Pupose, Function & Use: Pinpoint Leadership Skill Development Training Series COULD YOU UNINTENTIONALLY BE FUELING EM PLOYEE FRUSTRATION?

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