A company should function like a well-oiled machine, with all the moving parts working together to accomplish something bigger than themselves.
From this perspective, it’s reasonable to expect a lot from the people that work at your company. They should be willing and able to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and with any luck, they’ll also do it will a good attitude, a positive outlook, and a determination to push the company forward.
Although it is perfectly fair to expect high performance from your employees, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Pushing employees too hard, or setting too many expectations outside the norm, could be harmful to employee morale, employee performance, and company culture.
Here are five examples of things you should stop asking your employees to do.
Work overtime without pay.
Employees expect to work a 40-hour week—maybe occasionally an hour or two more when things get crazy. But what they should not have to do is work regular or excessively long weeks without additional compensation.
Skip their lunch break.
Regular breaks throughout the day are important, and will result in happier, more productive employees. As such, you shouldn’t ask them to skip their lunch breaks (or any other break for that matter) in order to get more work done.
Come to work when they’re sick.
Not only will it be miserable for the sick person, but it could also get other people in the office sick, too. Asking someone to come in while they’re sick is just asking for more sick employees down the road. You’re better off letting a sick employee get some rest and come back to work when they’re feeling up to it.
Make company purchases using their own money.
Even if you plan on reimbursing them, it’s preferable to not ask employees to make company purchases using their own money. This includes things like food, office supplies, training fees, etc. If you must, give them access to a company card to make these purchases with. It will keep everything simpler and will make sure that employees don’t end up accidentally paying for things out of their own pockets.
Asking employees to lie, whether to management, other employees, clients, or vendors, is simply unethical, and it puts the employee in an impossible situation. If you want to maintain the integrity of your company and its people, don’t ask your employees to lie, for any reason—period.
You’re allowed to set reasonable expectations for your employees, but there are some things employees should not be asked to do. Use this list as a starting point, and you’ll see the benefits of having employees that are respected, cared for, and treated fairly.
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