If you are an employer, you might think giving employees clear direction is the best way to get things done and keep your business moving forward. And while it is true that everyone needs some structure and guidance, constantly telling your employees what they should be doing can be incredibly damaging to your organization. Your employees want you to trust them. If they feel like you tell them what to do instead of trusting them with their decisions, they may not be happy with their jobs.
Here are the reasons you should stop telling your employees what to do and give them more control:
1. Employees hate micromanagement
You might think this is a given and should not even need saying. However, many companies are still guilty of micromanaging their employees, especially when delegating tasks and projects. As mentioned by HBR, micromanagement is still a dirty word in today’s workplaces
The problem with micromanagement is that when you constantly tell your employees everything they need to do, they do not feel like they are contributing anything of value or making any impact on their job. This can cause them to feel bored and underappreciated, which could lead them to leave your company for a new one where they have more freedom.
If you want loyal workers who care about their work and feel they are contributing something valuable, you should trust them enough to get the job done.
2. Employees want your trust
Employees also want to know that they can make mistakes without being punished. If you value your employees’ input and let them contribute ideas, they will feel like they are a part of the team and that you listen to them. This will keep them motivated in their job and make work more enjoyable for everyone involved since it shows that you trust them and care about the work they do.
3. Employees want to know that their opinions matter
It is important to note that employees want to feel like they are contributing and that their opinions matter. Nothing is worse than being told what to do all the time and not feeling heard. The point is that employees want you to value them for their knowledge, skill and ability. They do not just want someone telling them what they need to do.
4. Employees want to try something by themselves first
Your employees want to learn on their own or at least be allowed to try something for themselves first. As discussed by Gartner, people are motivated when they feel valued and create an impact. The most productive employees do not have time for micromanagers. They are too busy smashing out tasks at lightning speed while thinking up creative solutions to problems.
Of course, you will find those who will never change: the people who think it is fun (or funny) to prank call your office. There are those who think nothing of walking into work 15 minutes late every morning. There are workers who think it is acceptable behavior to skip meetings and leave early without letting anyone know why and others. These people need constant reminders about expectations set forth by management.
5. Employees want to be able to ask questions
Employees need to know that their questions are important. They need to know that it will not hurt their feelings if they ask for clarification or more information about something you have said or done. If you do not make people feel like their questions are welcome, they will stop asking and do what you tell them without understanding why.
6. Employees want to know that you’re collaborating with them and not against them
Employees want an environment where they can collaborate with their colleagues. This can be as straightforward as letting your team members know you appreciate their input. When employees feel like they are a part of the company, they will be more likely to take pride in their jobs and create innovative ways to solve problems.
One study from Gallup found that employees who felt engaged were more productive than those who did not feel the engagement. Another study found that when managers recognize employees for their achievements, it indicates trust between the two parties.
7. Employees need a clear idea of what success looks like
You can only expect your employees to figure out how to achieve a goal if you provide them with a clear vision of success. If you want them to be motivated by the result, give them a picture of how they will feel when they reach it instead of just telling them what to do.
This will help them stay motivated during challenging times and prevent burnout. You should also provide examples of people who have successfully achieved similar goals, so workers understand what you expect of them and how they might achieve those same results.
8. Employees should have access to the job information
Employees need access to the information they need to do their jobs, including knowing any specific project deadlines. If your staff can access the job instructions they need to complete their projects, they will know how much time and effort they should put into whatever task.
Employees also need to know why they are doing something. This will help them understand how their actions affect customers, clients or other parts of your business. On the other side, employees might only sometimes be able to see that what they do affects other departments or divisions within a company. Access to the correct information can inspire them and give them a clear purpose in their role at work.
Your employees want you to trust them. It is no secret that if your employees feel like you trust them, they are happier with their job. A good strategy is to have weekly or monthly check-ins with them vs. hovering over everything they are doing. If they feel like you tell them what to do instead of trusting them with their decisions, they may not be happy with their jobs. That is because people are more motivated when they feel like they have some autonomy and control over their lives.