Blog Article by Ray Attiyah, Chief Innovation Officer, Definity Partners
A common complaint we hear from business owners is that their operation seems to be bogged down, not able to get to the next level. When we examine the root cause of the problem it often comes down to a lack of confidence.
Good business requires layers of review, but all too often we see companies that use checks and balances to cover up a lack of confidence in their workers. Rather than develop the goals, standards and training that enable front-line workers to excel at solving problems and make smart improvements, there are approval processes, meetings, reviews and layers of documentation. This high level of oversight keeps an organization from being nimble and it deflates employee engagement. Even small ideas that could improve the process or product become regarded as, “not worth the trouble.”
Here are some signs that a lack of confidence has crept into your organization and is holding back progress.
- Too many Meetings with too many people that drag on too long – Meetings are a fact of life, but unless meetings provide collaboration with a result that moves the issue forward with someone in charge, they become a crutch to keep any one person from taking responsibility.
- You find yourself un-delegating - As a leader you only have so much time in a day. You have a duty to your organization to delegate work and decisions. Delegating allows your management team to take on more responsibility and grow their skills but it also frees you to focus on the things that add the most value to your organization. My rule of thumb is that if someone can do the job 80% as well as you would, you need to delegate that job.
- You add a new position to provide more oversight - Much like un-delegating, creating another level of oversight for routine processes is a sign that you don’t have confidence in your people and processes. It’s a far better use of your resources to develop the standards, training and trust that encourages and rewards your front line and middle managers for making good decisions about daily business.
- You generate reports that never seem to be discussed - Reports are important when they are used to benchmark progress, identify problems and find opportunities. If you create reports as a security blanket to prove what you already know, the only thing they prove is that you lack confidence.
- You back off your goals or lower your standards – You have to have confidence in your organization to maintain or raise your standards. When workers sense you don’t have confidence in them they hold back and become disengaged. They lose interest in trying to do a better job or make a better product. It’s a downhill spiral that will lead to more errors, missed work time, high turnover and will in turn consume your time or the time of your managers.
In our next post, we will look at some of the strategies that allow you to find a new level of confidence in your organization.