It’s hard to see things from other people’s perspective. Here are some misconceptions we see among equine employers.
1. Any job is a privilege and employees should be grateful to have one. This may have been true in the Great Depression, but it is not true today. Today, many job seekers would rather have no job than have a job with poor working conditions, poor compensation, and for which they are not appreciated. Today’s worker is looking for an opportunity that fulfills their goals in life, not just any job. Jobs are plentiful enough that most employees are not grateful for a substandard job.
2. If I want a “type A” organized, self-motivated worker, I should be able to find one. The reality is that there are not enough of this type of worker to go around. However, workers with other personality types can be motivated to become some of the best workers. Sometimes it takes little more than “taking them under your wing” and helping them discover the benefits of caring about their work.
3. Workers will always have a true picture of themselves. Employers have a tendency to be surprised and angry when employees can’t see their own faults. Employees are people with strengths and weaknesses. It is common for all people to have trouble seeing their shortcomings. Be prepared to praise employees for their strengths and to help them understand and help them improve their weaknesses.
4. Communication is a skill that we are all born with. Communication is always challenging. Few of us are born with good communication skills. Learn to listen carefully and repeat back some of what you hear in your own words to be sure you heard it correctly. Be ready to explain your needs in detail. Write down important instructions (or get employees to write them down) so employees can refresh their memory without having to ask you to repeat.