Take a look at any monumental genius of the last couple centuries, and you will notice one common thread — tons and tons of people behind them, supporting them, and more often than not — doing most of the real work. That’s because no one person can do everything, no matter how capable or talented they may seem. And actually, the more closely you look at the work of geniuses, the more you realize that maybe the only genius that they possess, is that of surrounding themselves with the right people.
Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak (plus offices full of terrified engineers), Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and John Lennon had the rest of the Beatles to back him up. Seeing a pattern here? The name of the game in all of these multifaceted partnerships is TRUST. So why should business be any different? It shouldn’t, and it isn’t. So with that said, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you need to trust the people you hire, and listen to the people you trust.
Less Direction Means More Creativity
The more you tether the people you work with, the more restricted they feel, and that leads to boring results that are more vanilla than vibrant. This is because the constant stream of comments and criticisms leads people to focus on just making you happy, and not on producing something new and exciting. When you let someone roam however, they’ll feel freer and more inspired to explore new territory using their imaginations. And if you’re working in a field where success is measured by creativity, less direction can make all the difference.
Precision, Productivity & Perfection
When you trust the people you work with, whether they’re employees or partners, they’ll tend to make fewer mistakes and be more productive in general. This is the effect of independence — when people know that nobody is looking over their shoulder, they tend to do their own quality control. That doesn’t mean you should never check their work, it just means that you should check it when it’s totally done.
Happier Workers Equals Low Turnover
One of the biggest sources of waste in a company is turnover. The amount of time and energy needed to train people sufficiently is tremendous, and when that person quits their position as soon as they learn the ropes, everyone suffers. But when you give people more responsibilities with less top-down control, they’ll be happier, stay with your company longer, and save you money in the long run.
Hands-Free & Stress-Free
One lesser known benefit of this hands-off style of management is simply a reduction in stress for you. The more we observe, judge, critique and analyze what our employees are doing, the more stress it causes us, which makes our jobs that much harder. When you simply trust what your people are doing, you can focus on more big picture issues your company is facing, and doing so without the general feeling of anxiety pervading your workday.
When to Break Out the Microscope
Now, we’re not saying you should never pay close attention to what your people are doing. Far from it, but there is a time and a place. During the hiring process for example — you should thoroughly vet everyone you plan on working with, using strict metrics to judge them. But once they pass whatever tests you throw their way, it’s time to let them go and do what you’re paying them for. Conversely, if people feel like nobody is ever looking at their work, the quality of said work may tend to wane. As someone in charge, it’s important to allow for a few mistakes to happen to build some trust and boost your employees’ confidence. But if you notice more and more of those mistakes occurring, that’s a good time to work closely with them until their work is back to the level you need.
At Ameba Marketing, we’ve built our business philosophy around the word YES — and there’s good reasons for that. It encourages a positive environment, both externally with our clients and internally with our employees. It has also fostered a place of endless creativity, constant experimentation, and brought along more than a few smiles along the way. So as you’re steering your company into its bright future, make sure to not hold on to the wheel too tightly. Let go and watch the people you trust flourish and take your business to new heights.