Do you have a team you cannot trust to be left alone? Will they just make too many mistakes and not know how to fix them? Will they be rude to customers? Will they be slack and lazy?
If it’s going to be done right you’d better do it yourself, right? …
While so many of us have this attitude, I would like to propose to you that there is a better way to do business.
This attitude can be a slow slide to failure and burnout. You will have to work very long weeks, as you won’t have a team you can trust to be left alone. You will likely resent your time at work. Maybe you are already in this position…
Having this attitude will make your staff give up trying as they are likely to get it wrong anyway. They will be too scared to make mistakes.
But remember, mistakes are how we learn. If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough. And remember, it’s not the mistake that (necessarily) matters; it’s how you handle the mistake and fix it that counts. Done right, you can turn unhappy customers into raving fans (or raving lunatics if handled wrong). See previous blog “Mistake your way to success” for more thoughts on this.
So if this is you, you must learn to let go of the reigns and delegate. You team will appreciate it and will be happier and more fulfilled. Customers will also notice this as the atmosphere at work will improve.
Here are 3 ways you can learn to let go;
- A nurse once told me that they have this mantra at the hospital. Learn, do, teach. In practice, you would show your team how to do something, who would in turn do it, and then will teach someone else. This cycle will help your team learn.
- Encourage your team. If they make mistakes, make a joke of it. Make it fun to learn and to get it right. Remember, public praise, private criticism. Don’t tell them off in front of others. If you do have particular team members who just can’t get it right, maybe they are not the right fit for your team, and maybe it is time to think about letting them go (through the correct channels).
- Empower individuals. Find someone who can be manager and train them to train others. Have a back-up in case your manager leaves – an assistant manager who could step up to be manager if needed.
- Once your team is trained, take days off. Leave the café for a day. What’s the worst that can happen, seriously? They may make mistakes, but because you are not there to mop it up, they will have to fix it themselves. If it’s a big mistake they can always call you, but put it back on them, ask them how they think it should be fixed.
It is important to let go. You got into business to make life more interesting, more fun, and probably to have more time for yourself. To do this, you must let go and delegate responsibility.
“If it’s going to be done best, I’d better delegate…”