Shush your Mouth!

THE GOOD ENOUGH, THE BAD AND THE UGLY BEHAVIOR

Today’s Scene: The Ugly Behavior

Boss Chatty was super friendly. She rocked at customer service and was an amazing listener. Employees all agreed that Boss Chatty was able to talk to anyone. Customers loved her because she was exceptional at connecting people.

But Boss Chatty had a problem. She could not keep her employees very long. It was super frustrating. It seemed as if someone would barely get trained and into a rhythm that they would quit. They all seemed to be leaving for different reasons. Honestly, she had not EXACTLY asked them "Why?" as they left. 

Now she had hired Employee Expert only 5 months ago and Boss was worried that he had asked to meet with her this afternoon to resign. If that was the case, Boss Chatty was determined to be brave and ask the hard questions to better understand what could have been better to encourage him to stay. She knew it wasn’t money because she was already paying at the high end of the industry standard.


What?

Boss Chatty watched as Employee Expert came in. She was nervous. She had really recruited hard to get him because he was sooooo good at what he did. The customers all liked him so she didn’t think this was about the work or the clientele. Sure enough, Employee Expert shut the door as he entered. 

Bummer. Boss Chatty had been through this enough to know what was coming.

Employee Expert handed Boss a letter and explained that he was resigning. He was kind enough to give 3o days-notice.

Boss Chatty thanked him and asked if he would be willing to allow her to ask some questions to improve her company. Employee said absolutely. She asked for honesty explaining that she wanted to build a great company to continue growing and serving her client base. He said yes.

She went through her list but asked very specifically one question that got some major feedback. Boss Chatty asked what SHE could do differently to improve the company or culture.

Employee Expert squirmed a little but you could tell he really wanted to give her some direct feedback. Boss encouraged it was a safe space and she was looking to learn. Employee shook his head and started in. “Well…. Perhaps you can be less….friendly with all the staff. “

Boss Chatty was confused. Was she supposed to be meaner?

Employee Expert said no. It was more that she comes off “gossipy”. He explained that it left him uncomfortable discussing ANYTHING with her on the chance that she would use the information to entertain customers or employees. He had seen her do this many times with others.


Boss Action!

Today’s lesson: A Boss knows that gossip is NOT a leadership quality.

Boss Chatty made the mistake of thinking that she could speak with / and to employees as a peer. Gossiping in itself is not a great habit anyway. However, as a Boss if you are in need of a confidante, the office is NOT The place to find it. Additionally, using your team's thoughts, actions and conversations as a source to position yourself in a good light ONLY works when you are singing their praises. The rest (mistakes, bad habits, poor performance, errors in judgement) is not for public consumption. You are the Boss and therefore by default you are the role model of behaviors.

Unfortunately for Chatty, what Employee Expert was really trying to say was that he did not TRUST her. If your employees can not trust you, they will be gone as soon as they can line up anything else. 

Employees spend so much time working that they want to feel heard, supported, heck, even protected. A Boss is the person that will define whether an employee stays or goes and I don’t mean because the Boss does the firing. Bosses that can not connect with their teams in an honest, consistent and professional way find that they get stuck in what we at Boss Actions call a Hiring Loop.

Boss Chatty did respond to this feedback by not just stopping the gossip but resetting the relationships she had with employees. She honestly did not know how much the gossiping was hurting her company.

She found that management also got easier when she was able to keep a clearer line on how she spoke with her team members. They still all laughed, clients still thought everyone was friendly but her team stays on much, much longer. That saves time, money and energy for Boss Chatty and her company.

Scale on Purpose!
Talmar 

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Talmar Andersonemployees, boss