Your Employees Want to Trust in You
You are the owner of your own company. The Leader. The Visionary. The one your people look to for direction, purpose, discipline, the plan forward. In many cases employees will entrust their lives, futures, and dreams to a company that they believe in, and by extension, it means they’ve invested in trusting you.
So how do you repay that trust?
Where does your next big idea come from? How about your inspiration? Of course, your immediate answer probably is and should be, “Me”. But are you looking at your people, especially the ones who are solidly team players, for that inspired new concept or a fresh perspective on a tired product/service? Even disgruntled workers can be beneficial to an organization, bringing nagging problems that de-motivate and/or demoralize staff to the surface.
And while we’re at it, how is the boss’s (your) demeanor regarding ideas or suggestions from staff, whether it be executive level, administrative, or labor for that matter? Which attributes most accurately describe you;
- Angry and verbally abusive?
Remember, the enthusiasm a peer or employee has when trying to contribute can be lost very quickly if not nurtured and encouraged, but rather minimized or ridiculed. While reflecting upon your reactions to suggestions and ideas, and even critiques, you will hopefully spot a pattern of behavior that can explain why co-workers do, or don’t come to you offering solutions to your companies issues.
Do you thank them for their contribution to improving the company, however effective the idea or suggestion might be? Or is your initial reaction argumentative or do you tend towards playing the “Devil’s Advocate” on every concept with the excuse of, “fleshing it out to see if it will withstand the light of day”?
How does your reaction differ when you encounter critiques or outright complaints?
The bottom line is two heads are better than one. And three than two, etc. If you are serious about growing your company without hiring a plethora of outsourced experts, while at the same time maintaining a happy, motivated staff, that feels as if they are making a worthwhile contribution to the company and being recognized for their efforts, there are a couple of simple steps.
First, take a step back and make certain that your ears and eyes are open, your ego is in check, and you approach each interaction with humility and respect. In most cases, the employee with an idea is taking a chance at being rejected, and may be a great source of inspiration in the future if you give them the proper environment to do so. Chances are, this positive experience will also encourage others on to contribute as well.
Next, good or bad, talk it through without emotion, and stay focused on the subject. Don’t make it personal (you’re always _____ on this subject!). Even a bad suggestion can turn into a great learning experience if handled deftly by a respected team member.
Don’t be that person who’s knee-jerk reaction to every suggestion/solution/idea is ‘NO’. Take a moment, breathe, THINK, and realize WHY the suggestion is being made, and give the idea and your team member, the benefit of the doubt – and if necessary, the benefit of a night’s sleep. The next day when the emotion is gone, criticisms always sound a little better.
The Volpe Consulting & Accounting Team