One of the many mistakes of business owners is thinking that their employees are available 24/7. If this is you, it’s time to change your perspective.
Whether you’re a seasoned or new business owner, you need to realize that employees need boundaries. While it’s relatively okay to contact them once in a while during work hours, it’s a different scenario when you do this after work hours.
People have lives to live, families to spend time with, and personal goals to achieve. Do not assume that it would be the same for them because you’re less busy after leaving work. Employees typically look forward to clocking out to forget about work, even for a short period. Believe it or not, work is still in their heads right before they go to sleep, so try to lessen their stress by not calling.
However, this may differ according to the situation. There will be instances where you will be forced to contact them even though you don’t want to. If this is the case, here are some rules you need to follow.
Be Clear About Boundaries
Talk to your staff to discuss what communication method works better if they are not in the office. As the boss, you need to understand that they need personal time and space. Thus, there have to be specific rules to set clear boundaries.
For example, hold a meeting with your employees and ask about their preferred procedure. Is it okay to contact them on their home landline or mobile phone? And what up until what time only? What is the maximum period for the conversation?
You may have dedicated your life and time to your business, but that is not always the case for employees. It’s not surprising that you expect your employees to perform the same as you, but remember, you are only paying them for their service and hours, and they are not your property.
Be realistic. Before you call your finance manager about your plans to apply for a business loan in Singapore or any other country, ask yourself first: “Is money really a good topic at 6 AM?” Your employee is still probably enjoying his cup of coffee with this spouse. So why not just wait for a few more hours and discuss it in the office instead?
Don’t Call After 9 PM
As the general rule of thumb, calling your employees after 9 PM is a big NO. It’s unethical and not a good habit. You can only break this rule if the situation calls for a quick resolution and you badly need help.
Once you agree to contact your employees at a specific time only, stick to your word. Show your staff that you respect their personal time. By doing this, you are helping them understand how much you value the mental health of the people you work with. If you feel tempted to call or text them, put down your phone and try to resolve matters independently.
Be Respectful To Your Employees’ Families
You may be working hard to make your business successful, but your employees are working to provide for their families. With that, you need to show the same amount of respect to their family members. No matter how stressed or frustrated you are, talk with respect when a family member answers the phone. Remember that you are interrupting their time with their loved ones, so set aside your “boss attitude.”
Your employees do not have an obligation to answer your calls after their shift. But if they responded to their phones to have a conversation with you, make sure to show gratitude. Thank them for their time and apologize for interrupting their activities.
If you want your employees to answer your calls after work hours, allow them to have an extra 10-minute break from time to time or check their social media pages during the coffee break. If you do this, you will earn their trust, and they will most likely be available to your queries even when they are not in the office.
Prevent After-Hours Emergencies
After-hours emergencies can be really stressful on your part. If this has ever happened to you, try to find ways that will prevent emergencies from occurring during after-hours ever again.
These are the rules you need to follow as a boss or business owner. Respecting your employees’ personal time for themselves is crucial to show empathy. Before making an irrelevant call, put yourself in your employee’s shoes. If you don’t like being interrupted during dinner time or when you are with your family, they will most likely feel the same.