Ever wonder why your employee, who you feel is intelligent and more than capable, is so timid at times to learn new things or take initiative?
“I keep every sticky note my boss puts on my work with a smiley face,” a support team member told me recently. “That’s how he shows he is happy with my work. I’ve gotten two in the past year.”
The natural question then would be, is your boss unhappy with your work? “No, I’ve asked him and he is very happy with it. He just doesn’t give a lot of feedback.”
Those are real comments heard during a coaching call. Sometimes it’s hard not to respond “Are you freaking kidding me???”
There is so much training and information out there about how to empower your team, build their confidence and get results from them. But I’m not even going there today. Sometimes we don’t need training or theory, books or webinars, we just need to remember that our employees are human beings. And employees, your bosses are as well. No one can perform their job with confidence, compassion for clients and a high energy level if they are getting such minimal feedback from the people who are supposed to be guiding their team.
We often hear bosses say, “I pay them to do a job. Their paycheck is their feedback.” If that’s your mindset, then you’re wasting your money! Would you buy a premium racehorse and never provide it what it needs to flourish and be healthy and strong? Would you raise children and never tell them when they do something well or comment on their achievements – only giving them instruction and critique? Of course not, because you know that won’t produce the best results. The people you work with are humans, and sometimes in the blur of work, budgets, technology and to-do lists we lose sight of that. And you end up with employees who are timid, won’t take initiative and are scared to learn new things, because they have zero confidence that even the things they do correctly will meet with your approval.
Give your team members what they need to perform at their best.
Part of what people need is connection and appreciation, to feel that they matter and contribute to the company. I mean, isn’t that a good thing? Do you want employees who could care less if they provide value to you and your company? Don’t avoid it like the plague, encourage it – celebrate it – when you have an employee who cares instead of a clock-watcher!
If you struggle with how to give team members feedback and cultivate an environment where employees can grow without fear, reach out to us for a complimentary “Team Diagnostic” call at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But all the webinars and training and techniques only work if you DO them – if they are dusty on the shelf while investing two smiley faces a year into your employee, don’t waste your money!
By Laney Lyons-Richardson