Top 10 Things Employers Should Never Do

The working relationship between an employer and their employees is one of the most important dynamics for success in the business world. In fact, building that relationship involves traits such as trust, respect and support that usually originate from sound, top-level management and filter down to the rest of the team.

For this reason, how an employer treats their staff often has a flow-on effect on the rest of the workplace and here are 10 things employers should not do or say if they want to get the most out of their employees.

Top 10 things employers should never do

Don’t say: “I pay your salary, you will obey me”

The reality is no one has to obey you, and they are less likely to do as you say if you fail to treat them with respect. Employers that feel the need to say such words have about as much class as a D-list celebrity screaming: “Don’t you know who I am?” And we all know that kind of behaviour is never looked favourably upon.

Don’t say: “I don’t have time for your complaints”

As a leader you should always have time to mediate any issues your team may have. If you don’t have time to discuss your employee’s concerns then don’t expect them to care about building your business. Indeed, those employees that don’t feel valued will likely be speaking to a recruiter, about moving to another company.

Don’t ask an employee to reveal personal information as ‘team building’

If it is personal information you want but it does not involve anything illegal or harmful to your business then, put simply, it’s none of your business. ‘Truth or Dare’ has no place in the workplace.

Don’t ask an employee to do something demeaning or illegal

When an undesirable task is at hand, a quick way to assess the situation is to ask yourself the question: “If my manager asked me to do this, would I?” If the answer is no, then don’t ask those beneath you to do it. Always treat your employees the same as you want to be treated.

Don’t say: “You are bad at your job”

A competent employer should be able to draw attention to aspects of an employee’s poor performance without making it insulting. If there is any issue with an employee’s experience or work ethic, it should be brought up in private and in a civil manner.

Don’t say: “This is how it’s always been done”

Fact: The most successful companies in the world, such a Google, Apple and Microsoft became captains of their industry because their upper management encouraged innovation in the workplace. It is important to encourage your employees on how they can become more productive or improve the business’ bottom line. All good things eventually come to an end and what may have worked well in the past, may now be ending it’s time in the limelight. Instead of becoming a roadblock to success, listen to suggestions of change and weigh the pros and cons for benefit to the business.

Don’t pressure an employee to attend social events

It isn’t necessary to force someone to be somewhere they don’t want to be. If your star employee is a recluse, let them be and enjoy the social event with those that like to mingle. Don’t let social attendance become a source for tension in the office.

Don’t stop an employee having a lunch break

It is not just despicable to prevent your employees from taking a designated break, it is also illegal. Do not treat your employees like machines. Indeed, some successful companies such as Apple, allow their workers to work from home and have proven that productivity can be enhanced with better working conditions.

Don’t gossip about an employee with other employees

There is no quicker way to lose your worker’s trust and respect than to badmouth an employee to the people they work with. Sure, you get the laugh now, but secretly those employees will be wondering what you say about them when they are not around. Such actions are not conducive to productivity and you should be leading by example when it comes to gossip in the workplace.

Don’t harass an employee sexually, physically or mentally

No one likes a bully and no one likes to feel physically uncomfortable around their boss. It is not your right to treat your employees as you wish. Such actions create a workplace environment that not only lowers morale and productivity, but one that could also land you in court.

Posted in ,

Andrew Brushfield

Andrew Brushfield is the Director of Victoria & New Zealand at Robert Half, and is based in our Melbourne office. He was originally an accountant at the Smorgon Group and has spent the past 13 years in the recruitment industry throughout Asia Pacific. In Australia, Andrew excelled in placing senior level finance professionals within a vast range of industries, with particular expertise in the FMCG and IT / Telecommunications industry.

Reader Interactions


  1. Templeton says

    None of these are happening at the company I work for,thanks now I know that the company or ican say the management where I work ,treat us differently,Indians are treated peaceful ,but blacks and colored are treated like shit,only to find that we are more educated than them.,example, I have an experience of administration, and also experience as truck driver ,igot my matric,computer Literacy ,my code ten license. I’m a married man with four daughters ,where I’m working they say I’m a driver but ,I earn 3100 per month, before after deductions,to much fraud ,others earn 5000,some 4500 it depends what colour you are ,a generally worker earned more than me.for more Infor contact Templeton on 0786285053 and the company I Work for is in South Africa ,Durban, it called Bidvest Steiner Hygiene. Address 154 intercite avenue, umgeni road 4001

  2. lori says

    Call employees on their day off about why they didn’t do something while they were at work the day before.


Pin It on Pinterest