In our July issue of the VBS newsletter, in "Employee Entitlement Attitude - Part One," we discussed benefits that are legally required and what is monitored by various regulatory agencies. In this issue, we will discuss this same topic, outlining the manager's responsibility in overcoming entitlement attitudes.
Everyone on Same Page from Day One
As a manager, sharing the correct information with your employees from day one will go a long way in curbing entitlement attitudes. From recruiting to on-boarding to orientation training, expectations should be clearly outlined in verbal and written communication.
Have a Plan to Overcome Staff Entitlement Attitude
To mitigate the risk of being challenged by employees, managers should:
- Manage their employees well from day one;
- Ensure employees know the rules from day one;
- Follow the company's policies and procedures to help guide employees;
- Educate, train, and develop employees for growth opportunities;
- Put measurable objectives in place to avoid employees feeling entitled to a particular promotion or transfer;
- Help employees see the big picture so they can feel like partners and become vested in the business outcome;
- Have ongoing communication regarding performance standards and practice positive reinforcement to engage employees in the company's aspirations for customer service and profit;
- Ensure policies and processes are in place with consistent and clear message across the board;
- Point employees to the appropriate human resources professional, if managers cannot accurately answer the employees questions;
- Take into consideration that entitlement attitudes may appear in various ways due to generational differences, e.g., Generation X employees (ages 19-34) may feel more entitled to high salary and extraordinary benefits, whereas baby boomers (ages 53+) may feel entitled to a certain position due to their loyalty to the company; and
- Address issues immediately.
If employees are not informed early about their benefits eligibility and what it takes to be promoted, it is probable that employees will not adhere to these policies later. Not following the company policies or not having a strategy in place may limit the manager's ability to communicate effectively and set goals successfully, perform helpful performance reviews, and document and record actions accurately.
Adjusting the policies on demand to suit each employee's situation will cause conflict among employees, if the same action is not carried out for everyone. Employees may think they are being mistreated and may question the fairness of the manager, if they feel their situation was handled differently from another employee's situation.
Managers are responsible for referring to the employee handbook or any other policy document and receiving adequate training from HR in order to help employees understand company expectations. Also, the compensation and benefits department can assist manages in helping employees understand that they are being paid a competitive salary for the position. Solid market data would be good to back this up. The objective is to provide appropriate information and control the entitlement attitudes of employees.
Should you need assistance with managing employee entitlement attitudes, please contact us at 202-832-1388.