How to Help Your Employees Become More Independent

Independent Employees

You want your employees to be independent. You can’t be there all the time to tell them what they must do and how they’re going to handle the assigned tasks. Besides, your business is growing and you can’t deal with every employee at all times. Here’s how you can allow more independence at work.

Don’t micromanage

By now, you must already realize that micromanaging doesn’t work. It doesn’t benefit anyone in the team. It can be exhausting for the leader and it can be frustrating for the employees. When you micromanage, you also make these employees too dependent on you. They can’t work alone without consulting you first. They also worry about doing things incorrectly. The result is the delayed accomplishment of the assigned tasks. Once you’ve given your instructions, let the employees feel free to work on them. You can be there to accept questions and follow-up, but the rest must be on the hands of your employees.

Allow employees to join meetings

Allow employees to join meetings

Don’t let big meetings happen only within the executive team. Most decisions come from these people. You also want regular employees to have a voice in the process. They deserve to be heard. They will be more independent if you tell them that their vision matters. They might even have a different perspective on the same subject that everyone else in the room has not seen.

Reward employees who take initiatives

Some employees are content with doing what they’re asked to do. They won’t take an extra step since they know they’re not getting anything from it. Other employees are passionate about what they do and will suggest ways to boost the business. It might be a long shot for them, but they will suggest it anyway. If it’s an exciting change, incentivize these initiatives. You want them to feel good about their decision to speak up and step up. It also motivates others to do the same. The only way for businesses to thrive is if it embraces changes.

Offer guidance and never spoon feed

Employees might panic when they don’t know what to do. They’re faced with problems they don’t know the solution to. You can only offer guidance when they’re in this situation. Allow them to ask questions and seek feedback. You can also throw questions at them until they figure things out. You don’t want to spoon feed them with answers. It doesn’t encourage independence. When these employees learn to figure things out on their own, they will be more confident to face difficulties in the future. They also know that you trust them to do what’s right.

Never punish failure

There are ways to give feedback for poor results. Punishment shouldn’t be one of them. If you punish your employees for trying something new, they might be discouraged to try again. They will also rely on you all the time since they worry about doing it wrong again.

Independence is necessary for employees to thrive in the work environment. Encourage this behavior even if it comes with a risk.

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