Help! I have a bully working for me!

Sep 27, 2018

Q. I’m a business owner and we have a controlling manager who has been loyal to the company for more than ten years. She has so much knowledge, but she also sabotages whatever she does not want to do. People fear her. How do I handle this?

A. You are the leader. It’s time to lead. Your job is to develop your people. While you have a bully in your company, the joy in work, productivity and greater success is being robbed. Your communication in your company needs to be that there is no tolerance for bullying, criticizing, blaming, judging. People are there to support each other toward the aim of your company and to serve customers. The bully won’t hear your message, so you will need to be direct. Commit to help her with coaching and new teaching. Be clear about your expectations. Then ask, “Are you in or are you out?” She may transform. If not, she is not a good fit. You’ll also be surprised at how the fear and stress level goes down when she leaves or transforms.

Q. Our organization’s turnover rate has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and we pay a competitive wage in our industry. What else can we do to retain our employees?

A. The retention issue has become a growing one facing many leadership teams, especially as people retire or move to find more affordable housing. Leaders are accountable to create the work environment where people find joy in learning, working and improving together. The power is in having a work environment where people are self-motivated. Create a work environment where people love to come to work, share ideas and make a difference. Ask employees what they need and what they want. Listen to them. Open up two-way communication. Get the team working toward one aim or purpose and remove the barriers that get in the way.The more you communicate and listen and show you care about them, the more trust you will build. People stay where they feel they are cared for. Begin to build trust.