Got your attention? It certainly got our attention this week! While at a meeting of a board of trustees for a charity, the General Manager of the charity was complaining that they were struggling with staff taking ownership of problems. Firstly, we asked if she had ever had a member of staff who starts their employment in a positive manner and then seems to lose their way? Of course, the reaction was “all the time.”
Whilst it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, this is indicative of staff reacting to a poor management style. It is often atypical reaction we see from a business that is struggling to grow or run efficiently. This is normally accompanied by the business owner or a manager complaining that they are “doing all the work.”
There are many causes to this situation and often it’s the style of management which is at fault. We certainly found this in our business in the early days as we have a very autocratic and direct managing style. Whilst this style enables success by quick decision making, it often leads to a stunting ingrowth of the business. The business tries to organically grow by the owners being very good at their trade but is limited by the owners or managers time constraints.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix but there are a number of small steps that can be taken over a period of time to enable staff members to become more empowered. Here are a couple of quick pointers to look out for:-
· Remember, 90% of employees do understand business and the need for it to succeed.
· Ask your staff to provide solutions, rather than telling them how to solve an issue.
· Praise positive actions. This empowers and motivates staff members more than any pay increase.
· Step back and allow people to solve problems rather than jumping in.
· Employ a management coach. The return on investment will pay you back you at least 10 times.
Think about the last interview you conducted. What were the questions asked by the employee? We’ll bet it was about training and advancement? The desire to advance is always there – as employers, we need to provide that support for the benefit of our businesses.
Trust and delegation issues are the reasons that 90% of businesses fail to grow or simply fail. If you promote your best salesman to a manager, this often descends into chaos due to lack of support in learning different skillsets.
Any of this sound familiar? Then it’s time to take your first step with a business coach. The first session is often free to make sure you’ll begetting a return on your investment.