8 ways you’re holding your employees back

By Henry Brown

If you’ve got a team of staff, then you’d like to think that you’re doing right by them, that they’re able to work well and do what’s best for your company, but the truth is that many business owners end up holding their employees back, though this is rarely intentional. In the process, you harm the chances of them staying with you for a long period of time, and also hurt your business. So let’s change that. Below, we look at ways you can free your employees and make sure that they’re able to deliver their best work for your company.


Your employees aren’t robots, working for your company just to do whatever you please. They’re individuals, who are talented enough to make it through your hiring process. If you’re going to bring talent on board, then it’s important that you work hard to prevent micromanaging their tasks. There are two approaches to handling employees: you can keep them in a box, which harms them and your business. Or you can let them run free, and see what brilliant ideas they come up with. To be a great leader, you have to be willing to delegate the jobs entirely. They’re not going to work their best if you’re forever looking over their shoulder.

Ignoring their talents

You should hire the person, not for a job. Who knows what brilliant ideas are being wasted, all because you’re making your employee do the same old task every day? If you’ve hired correctly, then you should have a go-getter with plenty of experience under their belt and ideas in their head. When it comes to moving your company forward, you’ll want to think of terms of what your workers are able to do. Don’t ignore their talents, and just progress with your ideas. If you give talented people a platform and the resources to work, then they’ll reward you.

Rigid working hours

The working world is changing. The nine to five working culture is beginning to change. We’ve understood, slowly, that this isn’t really the most effective way to go. Humans can’t just power through hour after hour of work, and deliver the same output. Everyone has their peak productive hours, their low periods, and so on. As a responsible boss, it’s up to you to grant the freedom that’ll lead to their best work. If someone wants to work from 6 in the morning through to midday, then why not let them? It should be all the same to you, providing their delivering great work. It’s always worthwhile avoiding the temptation to see your status as ‘boss’ as an excuse to control other people. Let them do what they want — it’ll only be good for business!

Workplace systems

Employees do need to have technology and software in order to their job well, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be the tech that you provide. While this might seem like a good thing, it can actually hinder an employee’s work, since they constantly need to get to grips with the computer that you provide and so on. They work much better with tech that they’ve chosen themselves, so why not look at letting your employees work with devices they know and love? It’s a good idea to implement mobile device management for increased productivity. All of your work’s essentials documents and software will be secure, yet you’ll be making it easier for your staff to get their work done. Don’t weigh them down by making them use the devices that you like — let them choose.

Lack of training

Your employees have all the capabilities to deliver their best work, but no-one is finished the article. They need to be trained in order to be all that they can be. When you implement new systems into your company, make sure that they’re brought fully up to speed with how to use it. You should never assume that people will figure it out for themselves. They will eventually, but it’ll be an unnecessary distraction from what they should be doing, which is working on their tasks. You can usually invite the company who developed your new systems into your worksite to train your workers. That’ll take care of the specifics of doing the job, but you’ll also want to think about broader industry changes, too. Whatever industry you’re in, there’ll always be developments and changes that your workers will need to know about. Make a policy of diverting some funds towards development, be it through attending courses, trade shows, talks, and so on.

Uninspiring and unmotivated

You’d like to think that your workers are going to be self-starters, but the truth is that everyone hits a slump sometimes. This is where you’ll show your credentials as a leader, part of which involves inspiring and motivating your team. If you’re expecting them to forever be self-starters, then you’ll eventually just see your team leave one by one, in search of something to kick start their career. If you’re providing the framework that’ll allow them to be the best version of themselves, then they’ll have no reason to leave.

Part of this process will involve providing challenging, engaging work. Nobody wants to stay in a company that makes it feel like things are standing still.

A disagreeable environment

Your workers are going to spend a significant portion of their time in your office, and with their colleagues, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s agreeable. The starting point for this will be hiring people who you know won’t cause trouble. From there, it’s about making sure that everyone on your team is happy and fulfilled. If everyone is taken care of, the whole ambiance of the office will be agreeable.

Falling behind the times
Finally, make sure you’re updating and tweaking your office from time to time. Working in an outdated, substandard office can have a detrimental impact on the productivity of your staff. Look at the latest standards, and make sure yours is up to speed.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.


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