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Employees and decision-making

Employees and decision-making

„Decide for yourself!“ A sentence that sounds so simple, but which can be anything but. This also applies to and in companies. Those, who are familiar with my MAUS survey know that one of the questions asked is about the employees’ freedom to make decisions. Does employee XY have the freedom to decide things independently? Or does he/she simply do as they’re told?

If the answer to the last question is “yes”, you have effectively tied your employees’ hands. This does not only affect their daily work, but also their interaction with your clients. What is allowed by you is the only things that are being carried out by them. This is a dangerous thing since it happens where flexibility, independent thinking and decision-making may well become vital for your company.

“Freedom versus order”, on the other hand, is what most companies are ruled by. For many bosses, fixed rules are more important, than giving their employees a freedom of choice. Say, a customer has a special wish that goes against your rules. Your employee won’t be able to meet that wish, due to a non-existent set of rules, the customer will feel ill-advised and go to your competition.

Give your employees (more) freedom of choice

It is obvious that this situation is not beneficial for your company. So how do you manage not only to put an end to your own being a “control freak” (namely, to have all the decision-making freedom yourself) and instead entrust your employees with more responsibility and autonomy? How do you manage to make your company more flexible as a result? First of all:

  • Learn to delegate and to give your employees more tasks and responsibilities
  • Have them trained regularly, especially in customer communication
  • Put both, employees and customers, in the company focus
  • In a digital world, don’t be too “digital” in your mindset

This is especially difficult for those company bosses who focus on a perfection-driven administration. Here, the focus is primarily on cost reduction, the standardisation of processes and a reduction in complexity. This works as long as it is done “away from the customer”. But if you orientate yourself more towards the customer, then these processes will become more complex and mor individual.

What happens, when the employee decides?

Above, I mentioned that a customer who has a certain wish should ideally have that wish fulfilled. If this isn’t the case, he may go to your competition. How can you prevent this from happening? By letting your employees decide, which wish they can fulfil for said customer. This, however, may well contradict your rules and might consequently go against your orders/wishes.

Perhaps you’re afraid that your employees will make mistakes, that your company will suffer in the long run because the employees/your team decide for themselves, what they can offer and sell to the customer. The fact is: this can happen. But it’s also a fact that employees, who can decide for themselves, will be more satisfied and will identify more with your company.

This is also confirmed by my survey MAUS.

The error rate in your company will also be lower. However, this doesn’t mean that your rules may be broken permanently. Instead, sit down with your team and consider which rules can be modified or additionally abolished. “Declutter” your company, give your employees only some “framework conditions”. This will make your company more flexible and customer friendly.

Would you also like to carry out a regular “spring clean” in your company, but don’t know how exactly to go about it? If so, call me today for your personal consultation at +49 (0)40 80 9031 9016, leave a message here or make your appointment immediately at: https://calendly.com/umfragemaus/meetingonetoone?month=2021-04

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Über den Autor

Kerk Behrens

Mit über 30 Jahren Erfahrung & Expertise in der Gründung und Beratung von KMUs, ist Kerk Behrens Ihr Unternehmensberater. In seinen Blogs stellt er Ihnen Themen & Tipps rund um das Unternehmertum vor.

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