Employees will generally be identified in one of these two categories. Think for a minute about all of your conversations and interactions with your employees today. When they came into your office, did they bring a problem with them? If your answer is “Yes”, don’t feel bad, because you are not alone. It’s a fairly common theme.
Most of the time it is because, although inadvertently, we have trained them to do just that! We really want everything to run smoothly, so in many cases we may actually tell our employees, “If you don’t know what to do in a particular case or you don’t know how, just come and ask me”. BINGO! The training is complete. It’s not uncommon for employees stop trying to come up with solutions themselves, because it’s so much easier just to bring the problems to you and let you solve them. In fact, your valuable “star” employees can be plagued with the same thing… cleaning up the shortcomings of others because over time, it’s become their job to do so. This becomes enormously expensive over time; not only in terms of lost productivity, but it makes you feel like you have a “Mr. Problem Solver Sign” hanging around your neck for all to see. You find that you can’t get the important things that were on your “to-do list” today because you have to render judgments and provide directions to employees that you are already paying to do their jobs.
So for the next working day, be sensitive to every employee contact and if they bring you a problem, just ask them “How do you think we should go about solving this?” or “What do you think the answer is to the question that you just asked me?” Their answers may surprise you. If they can’t think of an answer on the spot, then ask them to go back to their desk and think up the best possible solution that they can and then come back and tell you when it is. “Here is what I think we should do but I just wanted to run it by you just in case I missed something” is perfectly acceptable, and a great place to start.
Now you are well on your way to empowering your people, and a byproduct of that is that you will have much more time to deal with the matters that really do require your personal involvement as the business owner.
Read more From Behind the Desk here.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: