Why choose between humour and content when you can have both? Michael Kerr is one of North America’s leading authorities on fostering innovative and inspiring workplace cultures. His presentations—known for introducing practical ideas that audiences can put to work immediately—are delivered in a truly unforgettable and hilarious fashion for maximum impact. Business Insider sat down with Michael (and Lynn Taylor) to talk about what keeps employees happy at the office:
One of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs is because they feel unappreciated.
“People come to work for more than a paycheck,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, leadership coach, and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.” “They want to feel that their contributions are making a difference. If an employer cares about your long-term growth and happiness, you’ll feel a much greater sense of purpose, and reward.”
Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage,” points out that Google’s internal research into what makes a great leader at the company found that one of the key ingredients for was “expressing an interest in employees’ well being.” He says Facebook also conducted a company-wide study to seek out the key qualities that made their managers so great, and again, one of the top factors was “caring for their team members.”
“It can seem paradoxical when a company invests so much time in hiring and training an employee, only to eventually squander that asset,” Taylor says. “It’s important to be sure your employer cares about your success and job satisfaction, because without that genuine support, it’s hard to stay motivated, feel that you are part a larger team, and produce your best work. It’s a downward spiral. You could stagnate in your career — unless you notice the signs and take decisive action.”
Here are 19 signs your employer doesn’t care about you:
Your boss doesn’t offer any support, guidance, or feedback.
If your boss doesn’t take the time to offer any feedback, guidance, or support you as you work toward achieving your goals, it can be seriously detrimental to your career, says Kerr.Taylor says if your boss seems primarily concerned with the tactical aspects of your job and project completion — and less so with whether you’re advancing your skills or being challenged by your work — they probably don’t care about your success. Yes, he or she may just be a bad boss, but if you see they do positive things with your coworkers, but not you, it’s a bad sign.
You’re not compensated fairly.
This is one of the most tangible signs, says Taylor.”An employer that’s not concerned about what you can offer won’t compensate you properly or fairly. Even if you request a performance evaluation, you may be told it’s not necessary, or just ask any questions you may have. The suggestion may even arise that you take a pay cut.”Monetary signs like this can be blatant red flags that you should start job searching, or you can hurt your long-term career advancement, not to mention experience much distress, she explains.
You’re passed over for a promotion you deserve.
This is another blatant sign. You’re doing excellent work — work that is superior to your colleagues’ — and yet someone less deserving gets a promotion you were in line for.
They never ask you for input or ideas.
If your boss or employer doesn’t care about your ideas or opinions, they probably don’t care much about you, says Kerr.
Your calls for help or resources are ignored.
A company that doesn’t care about your well-being will largely ignore your requests for assistance or tools you need to deliver the best results, Taylor says. “Or they may just make it difficult by making false promises, or dragging out the process to truly address your needs.”
There’s a lack of inherent trust.
“For example, if your boss is more concerned about getting a doctor’s note to justify your absence from work rather than asking about your health and what they can do for you, this obviously reveals concern for you only as a commodity,” Kerr explains.
Plum projects no longer come your way.
You may suddenly lose a project you were handling, or you may no longer get those that relate directly to your expertise, says Taylor. These are never good signs.
Your boss bullies you.
“When they use bullying tactics or give you ultimatums, you may have a problem on your hands,” says Kerr. “Any threatening or intimidation style of behavior that is dismissive of your emotions and reactions means they really don’t care about you as a human being.”
You rarely find out about project outcomes.
“One red flag is that you will contribute to a project, but after it’s completed, you don’t know what the results were,” Taylor says. “You may be fortunate enough to hear it through the grapevine, but you feel as if you are not part of a larger picture.”
They don’t include you in any decisions.
It’s an especially bad sign when your boss is making decisions regarding your career or workload without first consulting you, Kerr says.
You get important company news after everyone else.
If you feel you’re the last person to hear about major company developments, you can easily feel that you don’t count. “You may hear things secondhand or by happenstance,” says Taylor. “It can kill your morale when the event directly applies to your projects.”
Your boss isn’t interested in your personal life … at all.
Some managers try to keep work relationships very professional and avoid talking or asking about your personal life — but if you notice your boss asks your colleagues about their weekends, or their kids, or their new puppies, but not yours, this is a bad sign, says Kerr.
You only hear from your boss when you screw up.
Here’s a big sign: You never hear praise from your boss when you do things well – which is 99% of the time. But if you make just the smallest error, you get an email or invited into their office. “This is a key sign that they may be taking you for granted and only concerned about your work production,” Kerr says.
Nobody wants to accept your help.
“When you first sense these signs, your immediate reaction may be to contribute more and perform better — but even that may be met with resistance,” says Taylor. “Your boss seems to be circumventing you with no apparent cause. Unfortunately, when there is no explanation, the cause can be due to posturing or a land grab by managers who are rising stars, who want to see their own team members advance. Without the support of your manager, it’s hard to swim upstream.”It’s best to take action through direct communication, while you seek greener pastures, she advises.
Your boss turns down your requests for a more flexible schedule or better work-life balance.
“If they consistently demonstrate a lack of concern over how working overtime might be affecting your family life, or immediately dismiss requests to switch schedules in order to attend an important family function, this can be a huge sign that they really don’t care about your personal well-being,” Kerr warns.
It’s hard to know where you stand.
“At companies that are political or more concerned with the bottom line, you will languish in a state of the unknown,” warns Taylor. “You can’t get prompt answers. Employers may either be complacent, expecting your long-term loyalty, or they may be on the fence as to whether to keep you on the team. The circumstances may be related to cost savings, politics, market trends, or other factors.”Still, she says, the result can be maddening. “Studies continue to show employees would rather know they’re under-performing than remain in the dark.”
They make demands of you during holidays or your time off.
Does your boss not respect your weekends, vacations, or holidays? Requesting that you stay in constant touch or finish a project without any concern for how it might impact your time off is a bad sign they don’t care about you, says Kerr.
They blatantly tell you they don’t care about you.
“There are still old school managers out there who will constantly remind their employees outright that they can be easily replaced or that other people would kill to have their job,” Kerr says. “Any comments such as these that treat you only as a commodity reflect a lack of genuine interest in your personal well-being.”
They don’t fight to keep you.
The final sign is this: When you tell your boss you’ve been offered a job elsewhere, or that you’re exploring other opportunities, they don’t fight to keep you.