8 Things Managers Should NEVER Say To Employees…And Why? 1825

8 Things Managers Should NEVER Say To Employees...And Why-

It’s been said, ad nauseam, that employees should keep a check on what they tell their managers. But people whose trade is to keep others’ words in order, sometimes take a holiday where their own is concerned. And when bosses and managers use the wrong turn of expressions, companies hurtle south. 

These Phrases Makes You a Failing Commander – Avoid Them At All Costs!

Here are a few things you should avoid saying if you don’t want to lose your employees!

1. Phrase: I Don’t Have Time.

What They Hear:

When an employee has an issue, personal or professional, do not utter these words. It is interpreted as wasting precious time better spent elsewhere. Or the employee thinks the problem was so small that they  should have solved it on their own. In plain words, the staff hears it as “I’ve got more important things to worry about.” 

Make the time, or the workforce will feel undervalued. Also, bear in mind to not use the  phrase when a subordinate comes up with an idea or looks for reassurance.

What You Should Say Instead: 

For a problem or an idea: “We should definitely discuss this. Right now, it’s not possible, but what later time suits you?”

For reassurance: “Yes, it was the right thing to do.”

2. Phrase: I Don’t Like It, I Will Figure It Out Myself.

What They Hear:

The boss is a know-it-all. That’s what employees think when you speak this phrase out loud. Over time, every member of the team feels as if they are wasting breath by coming up with ideas because you’re never going to approve them. The best way out to this faux pas is to listen to the employees, actively. 

What You Should Say Instead: 

“What is the backup option, in case this plan doesn’t pan out?” If the ideas or solutions are genuinely not good, then do not respond. It is better not to say anything than to spew negativity.

3. Phrase: We’ve Always Done It This Way.

What They Hear:

When you speak the expression, the staff hears a demotivating tone and nothing else. The first thought that crosses their mind is “why has it always been done this way?” which makes the employee defensive.

Also Read:  Managing a Cross-Cultural Team? Here Are 10 Strategies To Do It Effectively!

You have to remember the workforce is in the trenches, which offers them first-class seats to issues, processes, methods, and how to make them relevant and efficient. At times, they do know better.

What You Should Say Instead:

If the timeline on the project permits: “Let’s do it your way and see how it works out.”

If circumstances don’t allow it: “Why don’t we improve/alter/change the process the next time?”

4. Phrase: The Previous Employee Sucked.

What They Hear:

Blaming the last guy is more common than people believe. With one sentence, you put an immense amount of pressure on the new worker. What they catch is “you are out too, if you don’t perform well.” Even if the previous person was a sorry excuse of an employee, never badmouth them. Putting the burden of not solving problems on someone else’s shoulders is a mark of an inadequate leader. 

What You Should Say Instead:

As managers, your chief responsibility is to accept challenges, errors and mistakes irrespective of who initiated them. Then work on finding solutions and implementing them. The best course is never say pass any derogatory comments about any former employee. 

Make Time For Your Employees (1)

5. Phrase: Leave It At Home.

What They Hear:

Your personal life is of no importance is the message you send when you practice this expression. Work is affected by personal life because we spend a significant portion of our time within the confines of an office. When a manager ignores it, the employee learns to hide emotions, which leads to worry, stress, and ultimately, burn out. 

What You Should Say Instead:

“What’s bothering you at the moment?” It is an uncomplicated question that can resolve many complicated private issues.

6. Phrase: I’m Surprised You Didn’t Beat X’s Sales This Quarter.

What They Hear:

Vocalizing this expression evokes the feeling of “we’re not good enough.” It generates resentment in the employee and jealousy among co-workers. Managers who commands respect will never compare and only measure a worker on individual performance. 

Also Read:  6 Surefire Steps Of Outing Candidates 'Lying' On Their Resumes!

What You Should Say Instead:

“I see that your sales performance was better in the last quarter. Let’s work out what held you back this time.”

7. Phrase: You Don’t Have What It Takes To Do It.

What They Hear:

In a word – belittling. Every time a supervisor articulates this sentence, the employee translates it as “how dare I think of taking on such a big project, I don’t have the skills/experience/ knowledge for it.”

One of the shoes a manager has to fill in is of a supportive mentor. This is one of the instances to be one. 

What You Should Say Instead:

Instead of being a back-biter, say, “This is what you need to learn to perform this task.”

8. Phrase: You Did Perfectly!

What They Hear:

A Harvard Business Review study concluded that more than 70% of employees wish for corrective feedback to enhance their performance. Proclamations like the one above, are paraphrased as platitudes. While validation is encouraged, all decent employees recognize that improvement is always possible. 

What You Should Say Instead:

Compliment the personnel on their effort with “I appreciate you putting in 100% of your energy into the pitch.” By accolading the work and not the outcome, a manager demonstrates that the effort counts for a lot. You inspire the employee to work hard on all future projects by giving genuine feedback and not clichés.

Don't Compare Employees

Mind Your Conduct And Keep To the Left

They say the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing. Well, bosses too have their reasons for uttering gibberish. But managers beware, plebeians rarely point out when the emperor wears no clothes. The fear of being sacked is real. So, keep to the left and avoid these communication sins to make sure your employees don’t abandon ship!


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