People need to feel like they have the power to choose what they want to do. Of course they do have the power to choose what to do, but sometimes you need them to choose one path over another. The path that has the best possible outcome for all.
I have twin twelve year old girls. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that I can easily draw parallels between enabling staff to do their best for the company and enabling and equipping your children with all the necessary skills to make the best decisions.
Communication is key. Making sure your children have your full attention, to always be able to tell you anything, without judgement. It’s difficult to do all the time, and it takes a lot of strength not to react, but it works. People who work for you are the same. They want to be heard, truly heard, and know that you listen to what they need and do something about it.
I’m really talking about two-way communication. When you ask for people’s opinions in your staff survey, you need to be able to follow it through with some changes. You also need to let your staff tell you about what is important to them, in a formal performance review process, and as an everyday practice, and listen and try as far as possible to accommodate or compromise.