As a business owner, letting go of small details isn’t easy. I want to know that every cog and gear is working correctly, that projects are smooth and clients are happy. As much as I want to know these things at all times, I’ve learned to let it go. Somehow, even without my constant supervision, the whole machine still works. To be honest, it probably works better without my ever-watchful eyes than it would if I pushed every button and controlled every outcome.
There’s a sweet freedom that comes with letting go. Most probably fear the worries and anxiety that would keep them awake at night, agonizing over the things they don’t know. You can also experience the relief, but you have some groundwork to lay first.
I’m the first to admit I’ve made a few missteps in the hiring process through the years. Whether acting upon loyalty or overlooking glaring flaws in order to grab the skills, I’ve let my heart get in the way of my head. When you do make a good hire, you know deep down that you’ve picked a winner.
The winner may not be the person with all the skills but rather the person willing to learn them. He may not fit the current culture, but he’s open to new people, experiences, and tasks. She could avoid clients at all costs while revolutionizing your processes. In other words, the winner is rarely a perfect fit—it’s impossible to find perfect. The winner grows to fill the void and becomes perfect. Perfect for the job, perfect for your culture, and perfect for the leadership you’re about to place on their shoulders.
Training should be fluid, with both the new employee and the trainer learning from each other. Yes, you want your new hire to understand your processes and adapt to them. If you refuse to budge from these processes, however, you’ll set yourself up for failure.
A great manager wants to know how things can be improved. If your new team member has ideas that could streamline your process or make a bigger impact, listen. Adapt. Implement. Let the trainee buy into the process and feel as though they own their new position.
As far as mistakes go, let the little ones slide. Reprimanding a trainee while they’re learning will cultivate an environment of fear and anxiety. That employee will also never learn to take the reins if they’re afraid of swift retribution for errors. The big mistakes can also be overlooked to a certain degree. If team members approached a problem correctly but still experienced a bad outcome, there’s only so much responsibility you can assign.
Once your team members have bought into their position, the company culture, and ensuring client happiness, encourage them. Even if they’re independent types who know when they’re doing a great job, they’ll still want to hear that you think they’re doing a great job.
When leadership roles become available, get your new staff members involved. No matter how new they are to the job, they’ll relish the chance to take on more responsibilities. You might need to guide them along the path for a while, but eventually they’ll walk on their own.
Encouragement and confidence is a huge reward for all of your employees, but it’s not always enough. To show your true appreciation for their hard work, be sure to give real, tangible rewards. This might be an afternoon off, a fun field trip in lieu of work, a cash bonus, or free lunch. No matter how small or large, your team will know how much you appreciate their efforts.
The reward is far more important than most business owners realize. See, happy employees make even happier clients. By trusting them to perform and rewarding them when they do, you reap your own rewards later.
Now you have a business filled with empowered employees. Team members who know their job and how to make clients happy, how to get the job done and even make the product better. With all of that, why would you need to micromanage? Just sit back and let them fly.