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Am I Expecting Too Much From My Employees?
By Sonya Buck, Australia


As an employer or business owner, you are more than likely passionate about your business. It not only provides you with an income, it gives you a level of satisfaction and maybe even, a certain lifestyle. Keeping this in mind, this may lead you to consider if you should have the same expectations about your employees.


For one thing, you may be wanting staff to continually work back with no overtime pay or reward. This is something a business owner does without question, but it should not be expected of an employee. If you don’t have children or have children and have a very supportive partner, it might be hard to relate to employees who have commitments with children and you should keep in mind they may not be able to work late.


If you have a big project or a busy period requiring more from our staff, sit down and talk to them and let them know this is the case and that it is temporary. If you can’t afford to pay overtime, you could give them time off in lieu.


Now that we have embraced digital devices, should we be contacting staff at all hours, expecting replies to texts and emails and answering our phone calls? Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.


Are you setting unreasonable deadlines? If you are a speed reader or amazing with numbers, it may take your employee a little longer than you to complete tasks and it might be time to adjust your expectations.


Some employers or business owners expect employees to treat them like a true friend. Of course, you should be friendly, but it takes a significant bond to be a real friend. It can also be difficult should things go awry to address issues with a friend.


But what should you expect from your employees?


If treated well and with respect employees should be loyal to your company and act with integrity and honesty. Also, remember to show appreciation. Employees being appreciated is more important than higher pay in employee surveys.


Employees should be accountable for what they do, even when things go wrong.


If your employees are equipped with relevant and up-to-date training they should be able to perform the tasks in their job description well.


Employees should put in a reasonable effort. If they are sitting around on Facebook all day it’s a clear sign they are not doing their part. The old adage “a fair days work for a fair days pay” works both ways.


So much of what we have discussed can be solved through good communication. It’s particularly important to ensure your employees understand what is being expected of them.


Keep in mind, though, employees won’t always match the enthusiasm you have for your own business, but they have a vital role to play in the organisation’s success.