Do You Know What Your Employees Are Allergic To?

I have a very strange set of allergies. I’m allergic to wheat, corn, oats, and dairy. But I don’t get stomach issues from the food. My body gets very achy and sore if I eat these foods. It usually takes about 3 days or so for the symptoms to show and then 3 days or so for the symptoms to fade.

Why am I telling you this? In a previous job, after working with and having lunch with the same people for 2 1/2 years, many of them still have to be reminded why I wasn’t having a cheeseburger.

So what. A supervisor shouldn’t have to remember what an employee is allergic to. Right? Well, slow down for a second. What does this say about a supervisor or manager if they can’t remember what their employee is allergic to? In my case, some of the leadership didn’t even remember I had any kind of allergy.

4 Reasons Why This Is Unacceptable

If after 2 1/2 years of working with me and sharing meals with me a supervisor can’t remember my allergies (that I’ve talked to them about many times before), why would I think they actually care about me as a person?

If supervisors and managers are not developing relationships with employees, it’s hurting the business and customers. Here are 4 reasons why turning the employee engagement equation around is so important. If you want your employees to stay engaged, get your leaders to engage their employees at a deeper level.

Your Employees Won’t Feel Appreciated

Leadership is more than just telling people what to do. We all know this, but until leaders engage their employees at a relational level, they won’t be truly leading them. A staff that is not being led can’t produce anything of great value or make a significant difference to the bottom-line.

When led well (read: engaged by leadership), employees will take the brand to new levels.

“Employees engage with employers and brands when they’re treated as humans worthy of respect.” –Meghan Biro

Your Customers Will Suffer

Employees who don’t feel respected and cared about will reflect this in the way they treat customers. If an employee shares their summer plans for the third time and the supervisor still acts like it’s the first time, how’s that going to make the employee feel? How would it make you feel?

Picture this scenario, before the employee can mention this is the third time they’ve been asked, the phone rings. How will that customer interaction go?

“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel.” –Sybil F. Stershic

It’s hard to show a customer that the business cares about them if the employee on the phone hasn’t been cared for by the business.

Your Communication Will Suffer

A manager that does not engage his employees is creating more than just a relational problem, he’s creating communication problems. If a manager can’t remember that an employee has an allergy or they are going to Hawaii in the summer, there are guaranteed to be other communication problems.

Even if these relational communication problems are unintentional, the employee hears the message loud and clear. You don’t really care about me.

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” –Peter Drucker

You’ll Lose Employees

All of this starts to add up for an employee. The lack of relational support, weak customer interactions, and poor communication is a two-week notice waiting to happen. Businesses will lose their best people if their leaders don’t engage at a relational level.

I had a boss that once said, “If only we can get all these people out of the way, we could get some work done.” He was joking, but I wonder if that’s how some supervisors see their employees. As a hindrance to the work. Instead of the real “work” the supervisor should be focused on.

“You manage things; you lead people.” –Rear Admiral Grace Hopper


How have you seen this affect your work or workplace? Do you have a story you can share that a supervisor showed how much they cared?

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