Five Sure-Fire Ways to Alienate Your Employees

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc. - During the past decade, top management has done an excellent job of alienating employees. Their concern for people has taken a backseat to cost reduction, outsourcing of jobs, and a focus on short-term profits. And forget about training programs, promotions, or pay increases.

As a result, many employees have said that once the economy turns around, they will be leaving for greener pastures.


If you are a senior manager and relish the idea of alienating your employees, here are 5 basic principles to follow:


  1. Don't Explain the Reasons Behind Decisions to Employees
    Only one third of employees say that their employer explains to them the reasons behind decisions. Why should you be any different? Make believe that the reasons for your decisions are top secret. Your employees will be intimidated and remain clueless about your actions. This will surely alienate them.


  2. Make All Important Decisions Yourself
    Only 1 out of 3 employees feels that decisions are made at the proper level. Keep it that way. Micromanage your employees to death so they feel totally powerless. This will give you total control and is another great way to alienate them.


  3. Show Them that You Don't Really Care About Them
    Only 1 out of 2 employees feels that management shows a genuine interest in their well being. You can do the same. Treat them rudely and make decisions without considering how they might feel about them.


  4. Don't Ask For Their Input
    Only 1 out of 2 employees feels that management seeks their opinions and suggestions. Implement a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in your organization. You won't ask them anything, and don't allow them to tell you anything. This will surely alienate them.


  5. Don't Act on Their Input
    This is a corollary to the last suggestion. You can alienate your employees even further if you ask for their suggestions, but don't use them. The genius of this technique is that it will look like you're trying to do the right thing, but that you think that their suggestions are dumb.


Follow these simple strategies and you too can inspire your employees to truly hate you. Of course, if you don't want to alienate them, just do the opposite of the advice above.

Contact Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., "The Survey Doctor"
9 Blair Circle Sharon, MA 02067
Voice - 781-784-4367 Fax - 781-784-6450
E-mail -
Web -


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