It is easy to forget how big an impact your words can have on your employees, and even well intended statements can sometimes have an effect that is completely the opposite of what was meant. So if you’re looking for creative, engaged, motivated employees then it may be a good idea to avoid using the following destructive phrases.

  • We already tried that. Just because an idea didn’t work in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will never work. Perhaps it was ahead of its time, or it simply wasn’t carried out effectively.
  • That’s not your job. Role clarity is essential, however it is also important that employees are able to stretch themselves.
  • Whose job is on the line if this doesn’t work? This creates an atmosphere of negativity, preventing people from taking strategic risks.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel./We’ve always done it that way. If the wheel had never been reinvented, modern transportation would certainly be very different! Businesses need to adapt and improve their products in order to keep up with the competition.
  • That won’t work. Instead of automatically dismissing someone’s idea, ask questions and provide suggestions on how it might be more feasible.
  • Just get it done. This creates a culture of fear where employees feel immense pressure to get things done, regardless of how. A better phrase would be to ask what they need in order to get the job done.
  • I already knew that. This statement can make people feel little and may prevent them from raising ideas in the future.