"How Should You Tell Employees What To Do"

426945_mr_and_mrs At times it can be very difficult to be the “boss” when it comes to managing employees and making sure that the tasks they are required to do get done.

If issues arise and you need to remind them of their tasks you want to handle it in a manner that shows you mean business, but also you do not want be so stern that you create a negative relationship with them.

Handling these situations “with kid gloves” requires tack, patience, firmness and sensitivity.  Wow, that is a lot to remember and practice when telling an employee that they need to remember “to take all of the trash out each night.”

I know from personal experience that making and implementing standard operating  procedures can be exhausting at times.  When I find myself needing to repeat the same thing over and over again, I cannot help but think if I can remember this why is it so hard for them to?

No manager or employer wants to sound like a broken record, nor do we have the time to.  But, when it comes down to it if we want to make sure that tasks are remembered and done “continually” we need to continually follow-up and reinforce the standard we want upheld.  Employees will tend to slack off on following rules, if management slacks off on making sure that they are continually followed.

One good way to handle this is to give employees a step-by-step checklist, or job and policy description to ensure they also have what you are asking of them down in writing.  This way they not only have been told verbally, but they could find it on their checklist.

I do firmly believe that when you need to approach employees to remind them of something they need to be doing that they should to be handled “with kid gloves” if you want the best long-term result.

I did a little research on the term “kid glove” and came up with very interesting facts regarding this term that I think you may also find interesting.

What’s the origin of “to treat with kid gloves”?

Seriously, “kid gloves” were made from the skin of a young goat or lamb or similar. Such gloves were softer and finer than gloves made from harder leathers, and so became a symbol of elegance and gentility in the early 1800s. The term “handle with kid gloves” thus means to be very gentle or tactful. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term was first used in that sense (or written, anyway) in the 1830s.

Definition of Kid Gloves

8/5/14

4 thoughts on “"How Should You Tell Employees What To Do"

  1. Important topic that often separates great managers from pretenders. My experience is if you don’t give feedback immediately, real time, the opportunity is lost. You get busy. You rationalize that you’ll do it later. Or you say you’ll find another opportunity, and it never comes…

    • I agree with you totally David. Many times I want to just let things slide because of the effort it takes to reprimand and train. But it only comes back bigger and more complicated if I don’t address it right away. Thank you for your comment.

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