The short answer, whatever goes wrong at your company is your responsibility so blame yourself first.
Running a company means you are responsible for being a good employer.
As you grow your reputation, you must also try to see yourself through the eyes of others.
As a business owner you operate from your own worldview that is potentially similar to one of your parents, educational background, even your cultural or religious beliefs and of course your natural personality that we are all born with.
In addition, you might have issues yourself such as, a rocky marriage, mental health issues drug or alcohol abuse. It is your duty to think outside your own box here. There are federal and state laws to know and memorize, but first there is standard ethical behavior.
Try to imagine you are your employee and what they may be thinking. As an employer you may be offending, causing anxiety or anger within your own team.
Your respect is earned as well.
Try to exchange your employees experience with yours.
Simply thinking of employees as subordinates is an extremely weak viewpoint. They certainly don’t want to think of themselves as just a pawn for you.
They want fair treatment, fair pay and a way to advance.
For example, when I owned and ran a custom welding shop, I paid my most educated welder more than the others. She was licensed and wanted to do what my company did.
She outworked and learned quicker that the others and understood the importance of getting the jobs done.
I let her smoke her cigarettes outside and have her occasional outburst. It was when I tried to order her to do a cutting and welding technique that was too difficult, she quit.
I was impatient, pushy and demanding only thinking of what I wanted, not how to achieve it.
She went on to start her own company. I did apologize later, because I realized it was my fault.
A new employee walks in to a seemingly fair and kind workplace only to find the same old sexism, racism or plain old abuse of power such as yelling or threatening.
Whether they are aware of it or not, it is the employer who is responsible for the atmosphere at the company.
You may be an old brass at selling furniture or whatever it is, but to tell a new employee they aren’t that important to you because they haven’t made many sales is counterproductive.
They will only feel like you are on a power trip and don’t have the patience to help them grow, let alone interest in improving their abilities. It is these subtle abuses that do long term damage.
Not only do you not blame yourself, but your employee blames you all the time. Don’t for a second think they are going to forgive the facts. For example, professional Jane 37, makes the same as Joe 27 who doesn’t work that hard.
You’re going to end up losing Jane and being left with lazy Tim. Unless you recognize Jane for who she is as a professional. Then everyone is happy, you pay her more but she keeps her job and trains lazy Tim to do better.
An employee coming from a university setting, has placed importance on the of the pursuit of knowledge, trained to be an asset for your company. Don’t pay them the same crappy wage as others without a college education.
These people know up to date ways to improve and make your company profitable in ways that you may not have heard of. For these highly educated people who come to a company and witness the pitfalls of borderline illegal activity harassment and bullying can be dealbreakers and only leads to high turnover.
Not to mention a total loss of investment in that employee. As an employer it is your duty to reduce or abolish these negative traits within your company.
You are responsible for your company performance as a whole. But employees are people with lives and families too.
Don’t ever forget that.
Another big red flag you can avoid as an employer is belittling people. It only abolishes their respect for you.
If you catch yourself yelling or treating someone inside or outside the company with disrespect who is actually trying to help you, you may damage your reputation. Even contracted labor.
If you want to attract talent, then don’t treat people like pawns.
Allow employees to show you their strengths. All people have strengths; there are even tests available like strengths finder for example.
If you hire a creative person, don’t micromanage them into submission.
Getting the best out of your company involves getting the best out of each employee. People are never happy to work under pressure and being yelled at. The mind jumps into fight or flight mode for days and you may lose all respect from one moment of anger.
One outburst can make an employee feel a much lower morale as well as even quitting the job.
We all have to think about where to draw the line at inappropriate workplace behavior. I believe that adults are motivated to work generally speaking, it is an employer’s job to make them be the best they can be and reward them for it.
As the self-made billionaire Sir Richard Branson says, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”