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Driving Crazy

The 5 Habits You Have That Are Driving Your Employees Crazy

You’re the very model of the modern entrepreneur with your limitless energy, mile-a-minute ideas, and endless dedication to your business above all else. But do you realize some of the habits that make you so successful could have a negative effect on your business?

It’s true. The same qualities that make you a great entrepreneur may be driving your employees up a wall — and bringing down morale. “Who, me?” you say. Could be. Here are five things that even the best entrepreneurs are guilty of that could send your staff straight into the arms of your competition — and how to fix them.

1. You micromanage. We know: No one knows how to run your business as well as you do. But if you want your company to grow, you have to stop standing over your employees telling them how to do stuff. Give them the tools they need to reach the goals you’ve set, then let them figure out how to get there. Bonus: You’ll have more time for the important stuff…like strategizing future growth.

2. You change course every 10 minutes. Entrepreneurs generate new ideas as naturally as breathing—but coming up with ideas and acting on them are two different things. If employees know you’ll tell them to drop everything for Plan A in the morning, then do a 180 to Plan X in the afternoon, they’ll stop taking you seriously (and likely get frustrated at going nowhere). Take time to think through your ideas, select the best ones and develop a plan for implementing them before setting your employees off on a wild goose chase.

3. You email them at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning…and expect an answer. Your business is the most important thing in your life. Reality is, though, it’s not the most important thing to your employees, no matter how dedicated they are. And that’s okay. Giving them downtime to rest and recharge will keep them dedicated; expecting them to work 24/7 will leave them burned-out husks.

4. You don’t listen. Think about the last time you had a good idea and no one listened.[1] Remember how that felt? Next time an employee ventures to offer a suggestion, listen — really listen — to what he or she has to say. Better yet, actively seek your team’s input. The next great idea just might come from them.

5. You’re cheap. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is the hallmark of an entrepreneur, and getting your business off the ground without a ton of capital requires pinching pennies. But once your business is beyond the fledgling stage and ready to really grow, it’s time to put your money where your goals are. Don’t waste, but wisely invest in whatever you need to get to the next level—whether that’s your technology, your marketing or your employees.

Photo Credit: Bartek Szewczyk/iStock/Thinkstock

Jared Hecht

Jared Hecht

Co-Founder & CEO at Fundera
Jared is the co-founder and CEO of Fundera, an online marketplace connecting small business owners to the best loans for their business. He writes frequently on small business lending and management.
Jared Hecht