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14 Phrases You Should Never Say to Your Employees

If you want to motivate your team to generate great results, you must avoid these offensive and annoying expressions.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are bad bosses everywhere and of all kinds; unmotivating, scolding, insensitive, lazy and unrealistic managers. There are even those who enjoy making their employees cry and fear them just hearing their name. News for them: the only thing they will cause is low productivity in your company, (expensive) staff turnover and a poor work environment that does not attract or retain talent.

As an entrepreneur, you are likely to find yourself in this position for the first time, but inexperience is no excuse to become a boss who does not know how to lead his team and negatively affects his morale. In fact, doing so could mean the death of your startup, since the success of any company - large or small - depends on its human capital.

Although the way you behave is the best reference for your employees, your words are too. And there are certain phrases that you should never use when communicating with your team, regardless of your mood or situation:

1. Aren't you doing anything right? Even if an employee makes one or more mistakes, this phrase is very offensive and can seriously damage their motivation. When there is a situation like this, relax, count to 10 (or 100) and ask the person to explain what happened. Make him admit his mistake and propose solutions.

2. Make it the last time ... This is the threatening boss's favorite phrase. Normally the threat refers to the liquidation of the worker, but the only thing that it generates is that he works out of fear and not to achieve objectives.

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3. You are lucky to work here. Elsewhere ... Firstly, you probably don't know the labor policies of other companies, and secondly, if the employee was really lucky to work with you, you wouldn't have to tell them that way. Never compare yourself to other companies; create your corporate culture and make sure it is attractive to human capital.

4. It's not my problem. When a member of your team explains that they were late because of 'x', did not finish work because of 'y', or did not meet goals because of 'z', never say this expression. It is not about "sheltering" employees who only make excuses, but about being empathetic and trying to understand the situation. In addition, you must make sure that it is not your problem, which means that one of your responsibilities is to provide all the tools, resources and incentives that allow the work to be done.

5. For that I pay you. A phrase widely used by bosses with a feeling of superiority. With these words you are telling the person that it is your property and that they should do what you say simply because they are paid for it. If you want your team to respect you, never bring up topics related to salaries and your position as boss.

6. We have to cut expenses. Unless your company is going through a very difficult time, which you have already communicated and shared with your team, do not say this phrase. But above all, do not cut salaries or personnel and the next day you show up at the office wearing a new suit or showing off a late-model car.

7. This is how things have always been done. It is the 'mantra' of the obsolete boss and nothing innovative. In a company, when recruiting talent, the main objective is just that: to change routines and the status quo to innovate and grow. If an employee presents you with an idea or a different way of operating, listen to it and give it a try. You never know where the idea that generates millions of pesos will come from.

8. I don't pay you to think, I pay you to do. Again the boss who feels superior and talks about salaries to remember him. And the worst: it is the boss who discourages the innovation and growth of the company. Instead, make a good portion of your job descriptions include a creative and innovative component.

9. Don't hand it over until you get it right. This unpleasant phrase is often accompanied by thrown or thrown papers. This tyrant boss enjoys putting his employees down and making them suffer. Instead, take a good look at what he delivered and give effective feedback that prompts the next time the delivery is correct, but not out of fear, but because of your good leadership and leadership.

10. Sorry, there is nothing I can do. It is the typical one of the chief "Pontius Pilate". Faced with a possible dismissal, rejection of a salary increase or granting a leave of absence, many managers use this phrase to wash their hands. But as an entrepreneur, it's probably not even true. You are the one who decides in your company and in your hands is the satisfaction of your team.

11. Do not bring personal problems to the office. Another reminder: an employee is not a machine, and therefore has feelings, emotions, ambitions, and desires. And when someone works, they execute with their body, but they achieve it thanks to the mind and the heart. Be an open boss: listen to the person and try to offer your support.

12. You were 10 minutes late. It is one thing to boost the punctuality of your company and quite another to become a human clock in order to scold your employees. For your company to be productive, you should not look at the time a worker spends sitting at a desk, but at their results.

13. Here I am the boss. Vertical and one-way job schemes no longer work. Why? Because wise leaders have discovered that empowering their employees leads to better results. If you are a leader, they will know it, but by your example, not because you tell them haughtily.

14. The project / company is not yours. It is a big mistake to tell an employee that what they work on is not their property. It is one thing that you cannot completely own it and do what you want, and quite another is that it is not part of your life. Finally, a person dedicates more than a third of their day to a project and making them feel part of it is the only thing that generates loyalty to the company.