Lack of trust is a hiring problem

Last week, I was talking with an agency owner who is having trouble with his employees. At least in his eyes, the trouble is with his employees. The main issue is that he doesn’t feel he can ‘trust’ them with a project without his direct oversight every day.

I just can’t trust them to do a good job. – Agency owner

It’s your problem

If you can’t trust your employees with a project, it’s actually not your employees’ fault — it’s your fault. You made the decision to hire them. You created the culture that leads to the behaviour you distrust.

So what are you going to do about it?

Empower them

The first step to take is to empower your employees. Give them the latitude to make decisions without scurrying back to you for approval. Give them one guiding thought as they make decisions. Maybe something like:

If it doesn’t feel right for the client, make it right.

Then step back and let them make some decisions. No, not all decisions will be the exact same decision you would make. Some of them may be entirely contrary to what you would do.

When this happens, talk to the employee about how you would have made a different decision, and explain why you would have made your decision.

This is not about getting them in trouble — it’s about training your employees to make decisions in line with how you want your business run, and how you want customers treated even when you’re not around.

But if

If you’ve gone through several training sessions with an employee and they still are making decisions entirely contrary to how you want your business run, it’s still your problem.

Like I said, you hired them, so maybe you made a mistake and it’s time to let that employee go. Yes, I know you’re busy, but having the wrong person on your ‘bus’ is only going to steer it away from its intended destination.

Get them off the bus with grace and slow down to get the right person on the bus. Getting the right person in your business is way more important than getting a person in your business.

Don’t look at your employees when it comes to issues of trust. Give them trust and train them to use it. Those are the things you can affect.

photo credit: pasukaru76 cc