By May 13, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Get Out The Way – Let Your Employees Do Their Job

Get Out The Way – Let Your Employees Do Their Job

Smart, successful managers hire well qualified, skilled employees to get things done. If you’ve hired right, they should even be more highly qualified than you in job you’ve hired them to do.

After all, your success depends on their success.

So instead of getting in their way, help them get the job done. Your role is to provide guidance, direction and establish the goals, not sit on their shoulders telling them what to do every step of the way.

You should also be their facilitator to get them the resources, time and support they need and even to deal with company politics, bureaucracy, turf warfare, silos and the many other barriers that exist in a real-world organization.

In addition, if you are spending too much time monitoring your staff, you won’t have time to do other value-added strategic activities you should be doing as a manager.

Here are several techniques you can use to let them do their job:

Global View, not limited information

The best foundation you can give your employees to do their job better is to give them all the information they need. After all, they make decisions and when they are based on information, they are always better than the ones made blindly.

Don't hold back the insight and insider knowledge you may have about how your organization works and the politics and other factors involved. You still need to manage these things but when they understand them, they may even be able to help overcome them.

Give them opportunities to learn more about related departments and services. Allow them to attend cross-departmental meetings with you.

Don't limit them by making them go through you when they need to deal with other departments or even your boss to get the job done.

Goals and Objectives, not instructions

Think of your employees delivering an outcome based service were you simply define the goals, objectives and what the final product is meant to accomplish. Then your employees are responsible to find the right path to achieve that objective.

Naturally, there will be some limit and parameters they have to work within, and they should be outlined up-front of course.

For new employees, you may want them to touch bases with you frequently about things they're doing so you can provide guidance on those limits and parameters. After all, those are things they need to learn.

Experienced employee should already know them and will only touch bases with you when they know they have to go beyond the well-established and understood limits. You simply have to trust your employees to do what is necessary.

Support and Facilitation, not barriers

As a manager of other employees, it may seem like they're supposed to be working for you, but they're actually working for the company to achieve the company's overall goals and objectives. Your role as a manager is to support and enable them.

Do everything you can to support your employees, whether it's resources, knowledge, information, funding and of course even advice.

Facilitate issues on their behalf including politics and cross functional issues to break down the barriers when you can, or give your employees the tools and information they need to overcome those barriers. Work with your employees as part of the team.

Freedom to act, not permission to act

A new hire may need much more oversight and guidance once they start on the job, but they should get to a point where they no longer have to check in with you for every decision or action they take.

If you've done your job well and equip them with the knowledge to understand the limits and parameters they need and know what they can do on their own, you should be able to let them get the job done without monitoring their every move. For this to work, you must expand their autonomy as much as possible,

If necessary, establish a simple update mechanism where they let you know what they're doing or sometimes what they're about to do. Then you have a chance to raise the red flag or issues if necessary. This should be on an exception basis. if they don't hear from you following the update, they should assume you're okay with what they're doing.

The level of detail on the updates depend on the issues they're dealing with and their level of knowledge, experience and sophistication as well as your comfort level.


About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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