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Farida Yahya: Dear Founder, Yelling at your Staff is Affecting your Business!

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As the founder of a fast-growing startup, you will no doubt have tons of responsibilities and processes to figure out. So, imagine being already overwhelmed, then seeing a team member doing something wrong. It can be the trigger to vent out your frustration or anger and make you yell at him/her.

While we know that no one is perfect, we tend to want to vent off our frustrations. However, when you constantly yell at your staff, you are indirectly creating a counter-productive effect on your business.

Here’s what happens when you constantly raise your voice at your staff:

It reduces your staff’s ability to think

Since excellent thinking ability is premised on confidence and initiative, constantly shouting at them and embarrassing them in public will reduce their self-confidence and sense of initiative. This will make your staff stick to the safe path, and this consequentially leads to the lack of innovation, loss of potentials, or business opportunities.

What to do: Create tasks for your team members, after every task, ask them to evaluate their performance and identify how to do better next time.

It reduces their productivity level

Naturally, when someone shouts at you, the next response is to shout back at them or give them an unforgettable dressing down. However, since you’re the boss, your staff can’t respond in kind.

Since they can’t shout, scream or vent at you, they will fume, stew, say bad things about you to colleagues and friends and even think about quitting the job. And until they can let that anger go, they won’t give your business their undivided attention.

What to do: Create an opportunity for the erring team member to explain what went wrong when you are calmer and find a resolution.

It reduces your authority

When you constantly shout or embarrass your staff, they’ll do what people naturally do when stressed: bond together for mutual comfort and support.

They will gossip about you, mock you, give someone to whom you’ve been harsh a comforting hug or tell others to ignore you. Moreover, the more you yell, the more they get used to it, and the more you begin to lose respect in their eyes. With time, your authority and ability to lead will go… poof!

What to do: Find other ways to communicate your frustration, and teach by showing, not telling.

You are telling your staff that it is okay to break company rules

Since your staff knows that your behaviour isn’t in tandem with the rules outlined in the company’s employee handbook, the message you pass across is that it’s okay to break rules.

What your behaviour tells them is that it is perfectly okay to break the rules as long as you have the power to get away with it. This is one of the reasons why people hate their jobs.

What to do: Remember that you are employee number 1, learn to reconcile your actions with your policies.

It reduces your staff’s ability to work as a team

Team spirit revolves around togetherness , that is working together for the greater good. When you constantly yell, you create a toxic environment for your staff.

Since no one wants to bear the brunt of your anger, your staff will compete with each other to be the one who is the most favorable. This method is commonly used by kids; kids know that redirecting anger towards another person helps them escape punishment from parents or from authority figures. Your staff will do this too, they will actively begin to work against each other, and when team effort is absent, everyone fails — including you and your business.

What to do: Create time during weekly/daily team hurdles to address any conflict or friction between team members.

You’re destroying their morale

As the team lead, you should understand that any display of anger toward your staff would be interpreted emotionally since you are responsible for them. They can’t fight back or correct you, because they know, or at least feel, that it could get them fired. Constantly doing this would reduce their morale and, in turn, reduce their productivity level.

What to do: Instead of constantly shouting at them, correct them in private. While correcting them, don’t forget to highlight the good things they’re doing well. Also, take the time to understand why the mistake was made and get them involved in fixing the problem without making them feel stupid or inefficient.

Farida Yahya is the Founder of Lumo Naturals, an Abuja-based natural haircare solutions brand that provides a combination of natural products, techniques, artistic styles and education about African hair and the importance of healthy and natural hair to natural hair owners. She is also the founder of The Brief Academy, a learning hub dedicated to developing and supporting female-owned startups to achieving wealth and scalability. Farida is also the author of Redefining Beautiful, a book that discusses the realities of starting a natural hair business. You can connect with Farida Yahya on Instagram via her personal page @thefaridayahya and her business pages @lumonaturals and @thebriefacademy.

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