On Two Feet: Encouraging Employee Independence in the Workplace

When you are running an office, it is likely that you’ll think that you need to get everyone under you to do what you say and follow your directions. However, you are not perfect, and you are bound to make mistakes occasionally. Sometimes, other people may have essential insight and know-how regarding your work.

Given that this is the case, encouraging independence among your employees is the better option, reducing the stress of having to make every decision, and making the office more efficient. You can do it through these simple means.

Give Them Responsibility

A reason many people do not do their work well or depend on others for their decisions is that they do not feel that they own their work. They think, “It’s someone else’s, so why should I even care?” In this case, making them responsible for certain tasks, people or areas will give them a reason to invest themselves in their work.

Make it clear to them what their job description is, as well as the goals they should reach. For example, you can start by giving them responsibility for taking care of their own office workstations in your Sydney building.

Ask Questions

One of the best ways in which you can encourage your employees to be independent is to ask them questions. Doing so prompts them to think, form their own analyses, as well as make their own decisions. Getting them used to asking and answering questions also helps them to become better problem solvers.

This will eventually be sparing you from the stress of troubleshooting on your own. It also empowers them to own their work even more.

Open Lines of Communication

When you bark orders to your employees, it does not count as communication. Not only are you discouraging them from being independent and reaching their full potential, but you are also limiting yourself from helpful feedback or input.

Instead of micromanaging and being too close, distance yourself a bit and open your lines of communication. Encourage your employees to talk to you about the status of the workplace and their tasks by also talking about what they need to know.


Forgive and Let Them Learn From Mistakes

Since you are only starting to let them walk on their own two feet, work responsibility-wise, you’re bound to run into a few mistakes here and there. You should let them do so, but, of course, to a reasonable extent. This is where they will do most of their learning.

When you learn to forgive them and encourage them to learn, you will soon do the same for yourself as well.

Provide Growth Opportunities

Some employers purposely limit their people’s growth, in fear that they will get overthrown. Unfortunately, that behaviour can come to bite them back and make them lose the trust of their employees. You should remember that your people are human too and that they have wills of their own.

So, if you decide to give them chances for growth and development in their field of work, it is up to them to put it to use or put it to waste. No matter what happens, fulfil your duty to help your subordinates become better.

The office is not just a place that you can profit from. It is also the ground in which your employees can find out what their calling is, career-wise. As the one who pays for their service, it is only right that you also invest in improving their skills as well as their attitude towards work.

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