10 Things Managers Should Never Ask Employees to Do By Suzanne Lucas
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(music) 10 Things Managers Should Never Ask Employees to Do Avoid These 10 Actions to Create a Satisfying Workplace for Employees
By Suzanne Lucas Balance.com, dated December 21, 2016 In the United States, unless you have an employment contract, a manager can require an employee to do just about anything that's legal. But, should they? Sometimes accidents happen in the workplace—water leaks, copy machines break, infestations occur, the internet goes down, among other unexpected messes that can make the office environment unhealthy or interrupt work—and someone has to clean up. So what should a manager do? And, what are ten things that a manager should never do? Anything You Wouldn't Do Let's talk about cleaning up dirty messes. They are unpleasant tasks, and you likely have maintenance services or building staff to take care of them. But what happens when you are stuck with a mess in the middle of the workday and that service or staff can't take care of it? If there is someone who has that duty as part of their job description, fabulous. If not, you have to assign it. Don't assign work like that out if you aren't taking your turn. Sooner or later, in a small business, everyone has to do gross things. The boss gets to do it first, otherwise, don't ask your employees. Cancel a Vacation Sometimes the world comes to an end, and you truly do need all hands on deck. However, most crises are caused by lack of planning. Don't ask an employee to cancel a pre-planned vacation, especially if there are other friends and family members counting on that person and they have purchased tickets. Sure, if Bob asked if he could take Tuesday off to clean out his basement, it's okay to ask him if he can take Wednesday instead, but otherwise, vacation time is sacred time. It's part of the compensation package, so don't require an employee to cancel. Work Off the Clock This one should be obvious, but it's not. So often managers are required to reach certain payroll targets and they get punished for authorizing overtime, for instance. This means that a manager can be tempted to tell employees to clock out and then finish mopping up for the night. Don't do this. Not only is it illegal—all of your non-exempt employees must be paid for every hour worked—it makes your employees bitter and angry. Not a good idea. Falsify Records Again, an obvious no-no, but it happens all of the time. It's rarely big things, like falsifying documents to embezzle millions of dollars (although that does happen). It's usually the little things—like the date received on a document, or sending a vendor an email saying that the check is in the mail when it's not. You and your employees should strive for 100 percent honesty. Don't ask them to lie for you. They will lose all respect for you. Take the Fall for You You tell your employee to do X, and it's a failure. When your boss calls you on it, do you say, “I'll speak to Jane about that and make sure that it never happens again.” Or, do you say the right thing, which is, “It was my idea. I take full responsibility.” So many bosses do the former. It's understandable—it's a self-preservation reflex—but it's wrong. Your mistake, your consequence. And, that goes for a lot of things you didn't specifically authorize or request either. Your department is your responsibility. It is never okay to throw employees under the bus—even if they made the error. Work Crazy Hours Some businesses have crazy hours, especially cyclical ones. Every tax accountant knows that they won't see their families between late February and April 15. But, that's part of the jo...