1. Don’t reference an employee’s salary in front of other staff. 1. Don’t reference an employee’s salary in front of other staff.

This is private and confidential information, not public. Whether the boss is saying, “I don’t pay you enough,” or “I pay you too much,” this type of comment will lead to resentment among staff members. Broadcasting employee earnings undermines their position with the rest of the staff. They’ll either think the employee is willing to work for peanuts, ruining their chances of earning more, or that they’re overpaid.

2. Don’t reprimand employees in front of colleagues. 2. Don’t reprimand employees in front of colleagues.

This is a form of bullying, and it’s never acceptable. While an employee may have made a mistake or error that deserves discussion, a good employer will handle this professionally — and in private. Also, a good boss should never denigrate a worker’s skills with comments like, “This job is so easy, anyone could do it.”

3. Don’t set unreasonable expectations. 3. Don’t set unreasonable expectations.

Managers need to communicate their expectations for work performance clearly, assist employees when needed, and set reasonable deadlines for projects. This one can be tricky, but if an employee feels they consistently receive unreasonable demands, it could be a communication issue. Perhaps unclear or vague directions are to blame. Or it could be a case of micromanagement.

4. Don’t share too many personal details. 4. Don’t share too many personal details.

This is a work situation, not the therapist’s couch. A good boss shouldn’t share problems or inappropriate personal details. If either party finds the conversation often veers in this direction, lead the way by being very brief in your responses and then change the subject back to business. In general, don’t bring your own problems to the office.

5. Don’t make inappropriate references. 5. Don’t make inappropriate references.

Any comment that makes someone squirm is one that shouldn’t have been made in the office. This includes water cooler jokes, emails, or comments about physical appearance. Include in this category any type of implication that the boss is interested in a relationship of a personal nature, even if it’s not something you’re entirely opposed to. Workplace romances are never a good idea, and it’s beyond unprofessional to even make the suggestion. All of these things are a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.

6. Don’t imply that sex, race, age or religion is a factor in work performance. 6. Don’t imply that sex, race, age or religion is a factor in work performance.

None of these things have anything to do with an employee’s ability to do their job. The suggestion that it might is not only unfair, it’s discriminatory. Address any such implication immediately.


6 Lines a boss should never cross

While no work environment is perfect, managers that fuel a negative atmosphere risk damaging employee morale and productivity, increasing voluntary turnover and even encouraging lawsuits. Leaders at Allison & Taylor Reference Checking offer this list of don’ts for managers to serve as a reminder to stay positive and compliant with worksite regulations. (Images: Thinkstock)

1. Don’t reference an employee’s salary in front of other staff.

This is private and confidential information, not public. Whether the boss is saying, “I don’t pay you enough,” or “I pay you too much,” this type of comment will lead to resentment among staff members. Broadcasting employee earnings undermines their position with the rest of the staff. They’ll either think the employee is willing to work for peanuts, ruining their chances of earning more, or that they’re overpaid.





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