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Saying 'No' to Your Employees

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Telling employees no when you need to

When it comes to creating an established and motivated team in your workplace you often work hard to ensure that all employee needs and requests are served to the best of your ability. It takes commitment and a strong understanding of the business needs and your employee needs to determine the best course of action to take when it comes to giving an employee an answer to a request for more pay, vacation time, promotions, or changes to their work responsibilities. When answering requests from employees you want to make sure that you are putting the needs of others and the business best interests first.

When it comes to management the first thing to remember is that you are there to make a business run smoothly, while leading your employees in the right direction to grow in their roles and careers. A good manager will train their employees well, so that they can move on with their career and not be in the same career for their whole lifetime. A good manager also understands that they are not there to be friends with their employees and grant their every request. With this being said, let's take a look at ways you can handle different situations.

How you communicate the word no - When communicating to an employee that you cannot grant their request for vacation, a raise or whatever their request is you need to ensure that you do it in a caring manner, that shows appreciation for their hard work. When you have an employee that works over time, and gives 100% in all aspects of their work you need to ensure that you reply to their request without killing the morale you have worked hard to develop. If an employee has a request that you simply cannot grant begin by suggesting an alternative solution, such as a different vacation time or if they are asking for a raise suggest discussing it in more detail during performance review time. As a manager, you do not need to apologize for upholding the business operations, but you want to make sure that you let the employee know that the request they have is not something you are able to accommodate. The key point is to remain firm but friendly when communicating news with your employees that they might not want to hear.

Setting up ground rules - Establish policy's and procedures that your employees will know and understand. The best time to explain these are during hiring time, or when the rules change. Let people know what is expected of them, and how the business needs to operate to stay afloat of the competition. This way it will be easier to explain to an employee why you are going to say no when the need arises.

Find a way to turn a 'no' into a 'yes' - Sometimes the no doesn't need to be a no forever. For example, your employee asks you for a promotion. You know that they have done great work and are progressing in the direction of being qualified for a new position that needs to be filled. If you come across this situation, discuss with your employee what you are wanting to see before you provide a promotion. You could tell them you want to see an increase in their output in the next quarter, then you will be able to revisit the possibility of a promotion. Employees will work hard to exceed the expectations of their job, and if you see that progress you don't want to shut the door on them, but there is no harm in telling them that you want to see more in their progress if they want the promotion they are asking for.

Dealing with upset employees - As it goes there will always be employees that will not be happy no matter what you do. Some people are also not good at handling rejection. When it comes to dealing with people in this situation, it is important to let them know that you see and appreciate their hard work. Try to use follow up by reminding your employees that they are doing well on a consistent basis. Following this, you would want to promote a reminder of the processes that the company follows to keep things running smoothly.

When it comes to helping employees understand why you will not allow certain requests such as specific time off, it is important to remember the basis of maintaining a strong employment morale while balancing the ability to keep management functions inline with business objectives. When being a manager you want to avoid saying yes to every request and having too friendly of a relationship with your employees. Remember that telling employees no is a common part of being a manager and that the best thing you can do is keep the relationship between you and your workers strong through the use of understanding their situation and explaining to them the needs of the business.


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