Why do some places of business have such high performance employees? Even in comparable businesses like two McDonald’s on different parts of town.

One major factor is the manager’s ability to engage employees in the decision making.

In a survey of employees conducted by a Fortune 100 company firm in which the employees were ask to rate their managers as leaders, those managers who rated highest were those whose employees said their manager asked for their ideas on a regular basis. Those employees also said their high ranking managers treated them with respect by allowing them to make decisions and learn from mistakes.

No surprise to anyone is that those managers who engaged their employees in decision making and asked for ideas also had the highest production and efficiency levels with fewest performance issues.

The management may set the desired result or goal but by allowing the employees to create the ways to accomplish those results can boost the morale of a people ten fold.

Managers should take time weekly to share with everyone those tales of employee heroics or accomplishments. For example, an employee delivering FedEx packages was detoured by construction which was going to cause all the deliveries for that area to miss the 10:30 am commitment time – yes, they would be late and the customer could get their money back. The employee gathered all the freight he could carry and flagged down a security guard passing by in a golf cart and then preceded to delivery the packages on foot and by golf cart to ensure 100% on time delivery commitment and 100% customer satisfaction.

By sharing this story of “going above and beyond” with all the employees the next day, the manager reinforced the company culture and values giving the employee “local fame” in front of his peers.

To engage employees, managers must ask and then listen. Employees do the job everyday and normally know best what obstacles get in their way of doing a good job. Ask them and then listen carefully as though it is the most important discussion. Because the fact is, what is important to employees better be important to the manager. Then act upon their ideas and give credit where credit is due.

Managers have a tendency to think they should be the problem solvers even when employees don’t have a problem. Just because an employee is discussing something does not mean they expect the manager to solve a problem. Motivated employees know their manager will listen but let them act on what needs to be done. Employees often simply need a supportive ear, not a problem solving manager.

A manager’s job is not to do but to “get the doing done” and to do that employees have to feel they own a part of their lot by being allowed to make decisions and have a say in how things should be done.

Nancy Proffitt, The Profitable Business Coach, Certified Business Coach is the president of Proffitt Management Solutions and Proffitt Management Leadership Institute, a nationally recognized Leadership and management coaching firm dedicated to unleashing the full potential of individuals and organizations. She may be reached at 561-582-6060 or email: nancy@proffittmanagement.com
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