30 ways you are not taking care of your people

There’s a lot of talk about your staff being your greatest asset.  Take care of your people and they will take care of the business – has become the catch cry of people management maestro Richard Branson.

The problem is that people managers constantly demonstrate that they don’t care about their people.  The impact on business let alone the people working for them is akin to having a huge ball and chain dragging everything down. 

Here’s a massive list of the ways people leaders let our greatest asset down.

  1. You think staff should set aside all their needs in favour of meeting yours
  2. You are too busy to sit with and listen to your people
  3. You hire / promote a “leader’ like people
  4. You think being “tough and direct” makes you a good leader
  5. You are blinded to the impact of a dysfunctional employee on the rest of the team
  6. You complain about your people and their performance behind their backs
  7. You know don’t bother to learn about leading people and just wing it
  8. You withhold information that would help the person / team to be able to do their job better
  9. You get angry when someone hasn’t done something right, but you establish an understanding of what was required
  10. You are a lazy recruiter – doing was easiest not what’s needed
  11. You overreact to any staffing issue or problem regardless of the scale
  12. You are completely unaware of the impact of your behaviour / language / decisions on other people
  13. You refuse to be flexible even if it means losing key staff
  14. You don’t provide feedback that could help the staff member do a better job
  15. You manage by rules / policy / procedure
  16. You genuinely believe that you would be better off sacking most of your workforce and starting again
  17. The way the business operates frustrates the hell out of your people
  18. You hate conflict and refuse to tackle the hard problems
  19. You don’t have an objective way to judge performance
  20. You disproportionality react to problems, especially loss of money or reputation
  21. You think saying thank you and good job is an indulgence
  22. You reward people that suck up to you
  23. You don’t trust your staff
  24. You never ask for your staff’s opinion event though it is them that will be most impacted by a decision you make
  25. You resent having to spend time managing people
  26. You are cynical and suspicious
  27. You treat your staff like you are the parent and they are children
  28. You take everything way too seriously
  29. You are intolerant of people foibles
  30. You see people as an expense

I really disliked writing this list. The shame is that I could write many more points based on what I have seen and experienced in many workplaces.

So why write the list? 

Because, we aren’t talking enough about how leaders influence the people that work for them.  The most important contributor to team engagement is an engaged people leader.

There’s no doubt people leadership is hard, and it takes time out of an already busy day and can be emotionally draining. 

But, and I say this with a lot of care and compassion, you can’t expect people to give you everything they have, be inspired and productive workers when you treat leadership as a frustrating, side task.

When you have staff, your daily priorities change and leading and managing the team should be your no 1 task.   Do this well and regularly and in time the staff will be able to work well with less effort by you. 

One small change you can make a huge difference

If you have read through the list and thought, “OMG ‘ve done that”, don’t stress about it.  Leadership (next to parenthood) is the biggest self- development course around.

The key to effortlessly changing into a better leader for you and your people is to firstly reflect on and acknowledge a limiting attitude or behaviour and then try a new approach next time. 

Be willing to demonstrate a growth mindset, take responsibility when you get it wrong and lead by example by improving though the experience.

Until Next month,



P.S. On the 3rd March I’ll be running a manager’s seminar in Cairns called Lift Your Team’s Spirits: Fresh strategies to boost vibes in tough times

Event Link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/lift-your-teams-spirits-fresh-strategies-to-boost-vibes-in-tough-times-tickets-9343780198

Our human resources article this month has been contributed by Andrea Tunjic (CAHRI) 

Andrea is an award winning Leadership and Human Resources Strategist.

With a diverse career spanning 25 years in the people management space, Andrea has earned a 360 degree perspective on work. She started out as a union official, has worked as a senior HR manager, lead her own small businesses, consults in all aspects of people leadership and business improvement strategies to organizations throughout Australia and has written a book on the topic called People Power.

She is also the creator of a range of online leadership courses aimed at helping managers become more effective leaders and teams to Vibe Up.  She is also the is the developer of ICoachMe, a self-coaching process

that has been recognised by the International Coaching Federation. Andrea’ s approach to people management is engaging, knowledgeable and practical with an unwavering commitment to empowering staff and leaders to work to their best, resolve problems well and enable them to become happier, more empowered and more successful at work