Human Resources

Four Common Misconceptions About Your Staff


When you lead a team as an HR leader, executive, or owner, you are afforded a perspective on your business, on your team, that few have the opportunity to share. Your vantage point as a leader allows you to see the holistic structure of your company.

Yet, the advantage of being a leader also means that there are some blindspots due to your vantage point. In our experience working with business leaders, we’ve seen four common misconceptions business leaders experience when it comes to their staff:

Your staff doesn’t care.

We all have A players and some B, C, and D players too. The A players are diamonds in the rough, often, but it can seem like the majority of your team doesn’t care. The reality is, everyone wants to have a great life, and everyone spends more time at work than anywhere else. Most people are trying their best, but if they seem complacent, it’s probably because they aren’t being engaged well.

Your staff understands the vision & mission.

High level conversations among leadership teams happen frequently, but the bulk of your team isn’t privy to that mindset or those conversations. Most people are focused on just doing the tasks set out for them. How often does your team take time to revisit your mission and vision? The value of having your full team buy into the reasons why your company exists and where you’re heading pay off in dividends. Keeping these core pieces in their easy view is key, and having real conversations about them together is critical.

Your team is motivated by the same things as you.

Leadership players are intrinsically motivated. For a leader, making sure the business gets what it needs is a huge priority, even at their own convenience. But most of your team is extrinsically motivated to some extent: work is a means to an end so they can live the life they want. That isn’t to say they’re not happy in their work, but it’s just a shift in motivation.

Behavior stems out of motivation, so it can be frustrating for someone with intrinsic motivation to see a good employee who’s extrinsically motivated not behaving in the same way as they might.

Your team knows what you know.

The days move quickly for a business leader, and it can be hard to separate out what you know from what your team knows. Building in systems of routine and regular communication is critical for a team to stay on the same page. Consider routines and systems that will repetitively and regularly update your team with the information that you want them to have, and be consistent!

At Retriever, we believe great communication is at the heart of great businesses. We’d love to send one of our communication experts to help your business step up your internal and external communication strategies. Click here to book time with us at your convenience.

Colleen Cook

Colleen Cook

Colleen Cook works full-time as the Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing in Ashland, Ohio, where she resides with her husband Mike and three young daughters. She's an insatiable extrovert who enjoys finding reasons to gather people.