If you don’t have time for the little stuff, trust your employees to help you out - this is called delegation. Though most small business owners know what delegation is, few feel comfortable delegating responsibilities to their employees. The reason? Trust. An employer who trusts his/her employee starts with the smallest tasks. Something simple like an easily-fixable item in your office or store, can be accomplished by your employees and shows your employees you trust them. This way, you won’t feel like you’re running around with too much on your plate.
For small business owners who have a hard time with delegating tasks and trusting employees, this section includes advice to see that delegation is a crucial part of owning a small business.
1. Have an Open Door Policy
Welcome your employees to come to you for questions, support, expertise, and problem solving. By embracing this and keeping an open door for feedback, this reinforces that you take your employees’ concerns seriously. This, in turn, builds trust with your employees while keeping you abreast of your employees’ concerns.
2. Encourage Feedback
Ask for feedback regularly. This is especially vital when implementing a new program or project within your company. Ask employees whether they fully understood the message that was delivered. Encourage questions and concerns, and use the feedback to improve your strategies.
3. Find out What Works Best for Your Employees
Talk to your employees to find out what kinds of communication methods they prefer. Would your employees prefer to be emailed or talked to in person to address any concerns or questions they have. Find out whether they would prefer daily check ins, weekly newsletters, or monthly meetings to keep them informed of policy changes and new projects. Find out what your employees are most comfortable with and try to work their preferences in with your communication strategy.
4. Make Sure Your Employees Know Your Communication is Confidential
Helping employees with personal concerns, healthcare benefits, HR policies, and procedures requires a great degree of trust between employee and employer. It is vital to show sensitivity for what your employees are going through while validating their concerns. Making employees feel safe and comfortable about coming to you with any concerns they have is important in fostering a relationship of honesty and trust.
5. Use a Medium Appropriate for the Message
Emails are quick, easy to compose, and easy to circulate through your company; however, they’re easier for employees to ignore. If there is something more important to communicate to employees, think about scheduling a company-wide or even one-on-one meetings.
6. Be Direct and Straightforward
Don’t beat around the bush or try and sugar-coat when delivering potentially negative news. Your employees will respect your honesty, even if they don’t agree with the message you are delivering. This is vital in fostering an open relationship based on trust and honesty.
As a small business owner, you’re always trying to put out fires. And as soon as you put out one, another one starts. Don’t worry. This is a common thing among small business owners. However, you have to stop thinking you can take on everything at once. The reality is, you can’t.
You’re afraid to trust your employees to make important decisions. This habit is deadly to your small business. Why? Trust is one of the biggest things you should establish with your employees. Without it, there is little room for success and the chances you’ll feel comfortable delegating responsibility are slim.
If you trust your employees to make correct decisions, you have confidence in them. And as you develop a relationship of trust with your employees, respect and potential for growth are limitless.
Think about it. Wouldn’t you love to know that when you are out of the office your employees are making responsible and well-reasoned decisions? Think of the amount of stress that would be lifted off of your shoulders. As a small business owner, you don’t need added stress. So, it’s time to start trusting. Here’s how.
Start with small things. Take a handful of your small daily tasks and delegate them to your employees.
Tell your employees you are delegating tasks to them in order to build unity and help them learn the various operations of your small business
Request that your employees report to you once their task is complete
Provide help if needed. Let your employees know you’re there if they have questions, and urge them to ask you if they are unsure of something.
Follow up. Ask your employees how they liked their task and if it’s something they’d like to do more often.
Build up to assigning larger tasks.
The best way to break the habit of not trusting your employees to make decisions is through open communication. In other words, if you talk to your employees and tell them you hold them to a standard - that you trust them - they are accountable for their actions and will feel a sense of duty when you ask them to watch over the business as you leave for the day.
Trust allows you to feel comfortable enough to delegate everything from the smallest to the most complex tasks to your employees - creating a unity in your small business you need in order to succeed.