Seasoned managers don’t allow themselves to get too hung up on whether their employees like them or not. While it’s good to foster positive communication and a good working relationship with employees, management isn’t there to win popularity contests. However, when company leaders are actively unpleasant, it can tank productivity and cause attendance problems such as tardiness, ducking out early, or calling out of work altogether.
If employee retention, attendance, and engagement are down across the board, it may be time to take a closer look at leadership styles. The following red flags can indicate the absenteeism problem isn’t because of the employees, but because of their managers or team leads:
- Employees avoid management at all costs. Employees may be intimidated by casual conversation with the boss, but it’s another thing altogether if they go to great lengths to avoid any encounter. For example, they may vacate common areas when management enters them, avoid meetings/sit as far as possible from management during meetings, or find an excuse to skip out on company events that put them in close proximity with management.
- Small talk is forced and awkward. Small talk happens throughout the day, but unhappy employees may clam up abruptly around management. If they refuse to discuss even the most superficial topics with company leadership, it may be a sign that something is amiss.
- They don’t offer to help. Employees are aware of their workflow and many will offer to help with related tasks to keep projects on schedule. It shows initiative and many companies view it as a positive trait and reward it accordingly. When employees are at odds with management, however, they won’t extend aid for one of two reasons. Either they don’t feel like they should help someone who is antagonistic to them or they are afraid to speak up to make the offer.
- Attendance becomes a problem. It can start small, like employees leaving the second work hours are over even if projects are incomplete for deadlines. They may begin to sneak out five minutes early or take longer breaks. They might start calling in sick on a frequent basis, which hurts productivity and the morale of the remaining staff.
One employee exhibiting the above signs may be indicative of a problem with that particular individual. However, if employers notice numerous employees are showing symptoms, it may be time to take a closer look at company management and their leadership styles. Recognizing the signs of an unhappy staff can allow leaders to address the problem before it devolves into widespread absenteeism. To learn more about absence management, contact the experts at Actec.