Never ask your employee to…


Never ask an employee to do something you already asked another employee to do. You assign Bob a project. The day you needed it completed you realize Bob hasn’t finished… and probably won’t. You’re frustrated with Bob, and you really need it done, so you plop it on Jane’s desk. You know she’ll get it done. Maybe so, but she’ll resent it.

Never ask employees to evaluate themselves. Employees who do a great job always question why they need to evaluate themselves. Shouldn’t you already know they do a great job? Employees who do a poor job rarely rate themselves as poor. Self-evaluations may sound empowering or inclusive but are almost always a waste of time. If you want feedback from the employee, ask them what more you can do to help them further develop their skills or their career.

Never ask employees to evaluate their peers. Who wants to criticize someone they have to work with afterwards? Claim evaluations are confidential all you want; people figure out who said what about whom. You should know their performance inside-out. If you don’t, don’t use the employee’s peers as a crutch. Dig in, pay attention, and truly know the people you claim to lead.

Never ask employees to do something you don’t do. Not something you “wouldn’t” do, but that you don’t do. Would is irrelevant. Actions are everything. Lead by example. Help out on the crappiest jobs. Employees will never care as much as you do—and, really, they shouldn’t—but they will care a lot more when they know you do whatever it takes.

Photo by RG
From 9 Things You Should Never Ask Your Employee To Do by Jeff Haden


  • Excellent suggestions, just wish the would actually do them, or not do them in this case 🙂

  • I think I have suffered all of these from various bosses over the years. I have to admit that I am also guilty of some of these myself! I won’t be from now on! Thanks for making me think!

  • These are great suggestions. When I was a professor for a bricks and mortar university, I abhorred being asked to evaluate myself because I was always harsh on myself…and then those who did less but trumpeted it more were valued more highly. When I ran the department, one of the things I’d ask people was what their goals were for their position. I got some great suggestions and could make people feel part of the process.


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