by David Bates

As employers, we often feel that we’re ‘going it alone’. We’re the ones dealing with the BAS, filling in the WorkCover insurance renewal forms at 3am, resolving customer issues, monitoring cashflow, ordering supplies, getting the bills paid and taking all the risks….phew!

I often hear from clients that they wish their employees had a better understanding of what they deal with and would offer them more support. But when I then ask how often they explain their challenges to employees and actively seek their assistance, the answer is often ‘never’. So this week I present my four point plan for helping your employees help you:

1. Mentor

Some of the more junior people working in your business right now are tomorrow’s potential business leaders. Taking the time to meaningfully mentor your employees about the finer points of running a business might just be the best investment you ever make. You’ll never know if you never try.

2. Explain Consequences

We know what happens if little things aren’t done correctly because we’re the ones who generally need to fix them up. But too often we do the fixing without also following-up with the employee who made the mistake in the first place. Talking with your employee afterwards and explaining the consequences of their actions is by far the most effective way to prevent a repeat. If an employee understands that a simple error created an hour of work for you, they are far less likely to make the same mistake again.

3. Empower Employees

As managers, we already have more than enough on our plates on any given day. But a surprisingly large amount of this work is often comprised of tasks other employees could quite easily do themselves. If employees don’t feel empowered to make day-to-day decisions they have no choice other than to send everything through to you for ‘sign-off’. So, tomorrow, take the top 5 tasks you know others can do and reassign them. Train the relevant employees if necessary and then enjoy never dealing with those tasks again.

4. Ask for Help

Your employees are far less likely to step-up if you’ve never made it clear that you’d welcome their support. If you’re really under the pump, ask your most trusted employee to lend a hand. You may well be surprised to find just how good it is to no longer feel quite so alone.