How to lose good employees

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So you’re focused on results, and only results. The problem is that ignoring the people-factor in your business can be costly.

In the United States, the cost of replacing an employee now averages $17,000. Those making over $60,000 per year will cost you more than $38,000 to replace. Treat people poorly and they leave. But hey, what’s a few bucks when it comes to results?

Although sarcasm is not my normal modus operandi, sometimes it’s effective for making a point. So here are some things to do if results are paramount and employees are expendable:

- Never get any input from your shop-floor workers before making decisions. Those on the shop floor have been doing their job for ten or twenty years, but they probably have no idea how a change might affect operational flow. Ignore them.

- Keep the big picture to yourself. After you make a plan without input from those who have to do the work, keep it a secret. No one needs to know how their department’s efforts fit in the big picture – they just need to do what they’re told.

Better yet, don’t set a vision at all. Then you can make up the results you want on a daily basis. It’s a powerful feeling!

- Micro-manage. Also, if you see a problem occurring down your line of authority, jump the chain-of-command and ignore the impact such action has on your direct-report’s leadership capability. It’s your job to get results, regardless of methods, and regardless of ripple-effects.

- Never recognize employee achievements. Your job is to make sure results occur, nothing more.

- Always, always, embarrass people in front of coworkers. Training and coaching take too much time. It’s much quicker and easier to get results if you just embarrass people into performing better.

- Set unrealistic goals. Nothing gets results like pushing, pushing, and more pushing. “Pushing” is what “leading” is all about.

- Discourage initiative. Differing views take too much time to consider. This technique works very well with keeping the big picture to yourself (see above).

- Haphazardly enforce company policy. Too often, policies get in the way of results, and they have to be set aside. Those who get the short end of haphazard policy enforcement need to realize that results come first.

Here are a few more to consider:

- Feel free to conveniently forget some of your promises, especially if fulfilling a promise will slow down getting results.

- Don’t provide opportunity for growth, especially if giving people time off for improving themselves will take away from production time.

- Be inflexible about people’s schedules, especially if you can’t see how flexibility will bring you faster results.

If you follow the above suggestions, you are guaranteed to get results. (Just be prepared to spend a few extra bucks, as they might not be the results you’re looking for.)

Copyright © Dan Bobinski, used with permission
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