Last week I gave a short presentation at our local Institute of Directors meeting. It was only 4 minutes, but it’s surprising what you can fit into that time.
I spoke about pride.
Being recognised at work so you can be proud of your contribution can have a massive impact on employee engagement, and all the knock-on benefits of productivity, staff retention and the customer experience.
This stems from the top, so if you are recognising your managers and supervisors so they feel pride in what they do, they are far more likely to do the same with their team members, too.
I covered 3 ways as leaders we can help people feel proud of their contribution, but I’m just going to cover one of those today; demonstrating trust.
People soon pick up when you fail to trust or allocate any responsibility to them, leaving them frustrated or worse, doubting their own abilities. When you demonstrate trust on the other hand, you’ll be surprised just how resourceful people can be.
Here are 5 ways you can demonstrate trust in your team members:
- Play to people’s strengths. It’s a lot easier for you to delegate responsibility for tasks where people already excel, and the likelihood is when they are good at that task they’ll be confident and probably enjoy it.
That doesn’t mean to say you don’t develop people in other areas, but avoid the temptation to make everyone mediocre at everything.
- Learn to let go, and empower them to do the job you’ve employed them to do. No one wants their boss breathing down their neck the whole time, and it’s frustrating for everyone when team members have to get sign off for everything.
Cut the red tape and give your team the freedom to do what they think is in the best interests of the customer.
Set clear boundaries so they understand the exceptions and when you really do need to be involved.
- Give flexibility to adapt and adopt their own style. Let them bring their own personality to the role, particularly when dealing with customers. If they know the end result you’re looking for they often come up with better ways to get the same result.
- Identify staff champions for routine activities so there is always at least one person other than you keeping an eye on each aspect of the business. This is not only good for people’s development it also helps the team respect other’s roles and share the burden.
- Develop ‘experts’ and give ownership for areas that require specialist knowledge, so this team member becomes the go to person for this. When individuals have one or two areas to focus on specifically it encourages them to go deeper and develop their expertise, and encourages continuous improvement. This in turn can have an impact on your customer experience, when specific knowledge is required to gain the customer’s confidence.
We often underestimate people’s capabilities. When you demonstrate your trust in your team by delegating some control and ownership, this gives a sense of pride and a desire to get things right.
This ultimately has a knock on impact on your customer experience as customers do notice the difference between someone just doing their job and someone who is genuinely proud of the job they do and the contribution them make.
If you only do one thing: demonstrate your trust in someone today by giving them the go ahead to do something their way.