You might be TOO NICE! There is no doubt that a fun, stress reduced organization cultivates happy employees. However, being too nice causes much more problems than anticipated.
Most people want to be liked. Many small business owners and managers really want to be liked. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is when the managers and the company are being taken advantage of and productivity and results are declining in favor of happiness and complacency.
Here are some questions to determine that you may be too nice:
- Do you avoid having tough conversations with your employees?
- Do you allow B.S. excuses to justify lack of production or reasons for behavior?
- Do you avoid holding employees accountable for lack of production?
- Do you fear confrontation?
- Do you favor a rule free (or light ruled) environment?
- Do you allow employees without a prearranged schedule, to start and end a work day whenever they choose without consequence?
- Do you leave the “dead weight” employed in fear of having to fire them?
If the majority of your answers is yes, then might just be too nice.
Now let’s explore some unintended consequences of being too nice.
- Advantage will be taken of you and the company if employees feel they have the freedom to do anything they want with no consequences. Being taken advantage of will come in the form of making their own schedule with work left behind, taking too many days off, spending too much time in the breakroom, eating more than their fair share of your food, etc.
- Lack of production and quality of work will become a visible problem. Employees who feel they can get away with doing the bare minimum will eventually only do the bare minimum. This does not bread success, but complacency in favor of the “country club” attitude. Other departments and clients will eventually see the work is not up to par. The allowance of excuses and lack of accountability plays a major role here.
- Your bottom line will be sacrificed. Clients might start seeing a change in quality and sales may decline. Growth will eventually be impeded with a lack of ambition and complacency (there’s that word again).
- You may have too much “dead weight”. It is easy for an employee to coast and look busier than they are when they do not fear a job loss.
What are you to do? You must be:
Wait didn’t that get you in trouble in the first place? Not really, for this to work, you must also be:
|Assertive||Candid||Comfortable holding tough conversations|
|Willing to hold everyone accountable||Willing to set rules||Willing to communicate rules to foster respect|
In the end, employees will be happy if you can provide a work environment that allows flexibility and fun, but also pushes them to succeed. They will work hard and still play hard for someone they respect.