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5 Ways You Might Be Undermining the Roles of Your Team Members

#employeeengagement #employeejourney #peopleopsproblems
5 Ways you might be undermining the roles of your team members, LeAnne Lagasse

Welcome to People Ops Problems with LeAnne Lagasse, a video series designed to help Business and People/Culture Leaders improve employee engagement, retention, and communication with their employees. Sign up now to get it in your inbox.



One of the fastest ways to tank your relationship with a team member is by undermining their role - which brings me to this question:


“What are ways that you might be undermining the roles of your employees?” 🤔

Among low-engaged teams, one of the themes I see come up consistently is team members feeling like their roles are being undermined. When employees express this sentiment, we're almost always dealing with other negative implications, too, such as high employee turnover, low employee engagement, higher employee dissatisfaction, and more. 🔄

So, what are the ways we may be intentionally or unintentionally undermining the roles of our teammates?

Let's jump into five ways!

#1 - Having a Lack of Role Clarity and Role Expectancy 🥴

According to the Gallup organization, only 50% of employees know what is expected of them at work. This is terrible news because role clarity and clear expectations are the foundation of employee engagement. It's so important that we take the time to build role alignment, which happens when everyone on our teams knows what their roles are and understands the roles of their team members.


#2 - Constantly Moving the Goal Post ⛳️

This happens a lot in organizations that see themselves as being innovative or cutting-edge – which can lead to constant organizational changes. Employees can be left feeling whiplashed by the ever-changing landscape. When we are constantly moving the goalpost, changing direction, assigning new projects, having our employees work on a new project, and then completely changing the plan- that is a huge way we can undermine our employees' roles. 


#3 - Micromanaging 🫣 

Another way to undermine our teammates' roles is through everyone's favorite thing in the workplace- micromanaging. Leaders, let's be mindful of our ownership versus the ownership we give to our team members. There is nothing worse than feeling like someone is standing over your shoulder, literally or figurately, to control your work. This leads to lower role ownership anyway – which only makes our jobs as leaders more difficult. 


#4 - Making Decisions in a Vacuum ✅

Making decisions without consulting team members who may be affected is a sure way to make employees feel their roles are being undermined. When making decisions, we must ask ourselves: "Whose voice should we consider to help make these decisions?"


#5 - By Not Backing Employees Up 👫

I sadly hear this a lot from employees who feel like their managers do not support them when they try to uphold the company's policies. Another way to do this is not to support your employees when they make a mistake. Leaders, it's essential that you take ownership and help guide your team members to continue to grow in an environment where they feel safe. Not backing them up can erode trust in the relationship and undermine their role. 


Well, there you have it!


I hope that helped create awareness of the ways we may be undermining our team members. Because that's the way we get stronger at aiding our team members in their journey AND the way we fight against low employee engagement and retention. 🧡


Hey, thanks for being here and for watching/reading. My goal is to consistently create content that's engaging, applicable and inspires you to continue learning and growing as a leader. If you have ideas for future content or any questions at all, please shoot me an email at: [email protected].

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