Ensure that all employees know why rules and procedures are in place
If you create rules and procedures, ensure that you tell your employees why and wherever possible try to discuss and consult with them before making the decision.
We all know how frustrating it is to be told to do something or not to do something but don’t have a clue why, and if you behave in this way towards your employees it will lead to resentment and in turn lower productivity.
I have heard a number of good business owners question the importance of justifying their decision making to staff, as though they have reached the point where they answer to no-one and do not want to open that door again! I can understand why they may feel like this, having worked hard for years and taking lots of risks to build a business, it is easy to feel that you know it all and you know best. But the fact is there is always so much more to learn and the people who work for you know your business better than most.
Engaging with staff in the decision-making process and at the very least informing them of the reasons for the change, will be beneficial to your business, as employees can bring ideas and an insight that you may not have.
It is also important to get employee buy-in of the decision, rule or procedure so that it can be effectively implemented. If an employee feels that they have been a part of the decision making, rather than having the decision forced upon them, they are more likely to be engaged and productive at work.
It is also important to remember that (in the most part) employees are adults and therefore want to be treated like adults. The quickest way to lose respect of your staff is to treat them like children or in some way less worthy than you.
If you find yourself making changes in your organisation (for whatever reason) ensure that you take time to speak to and listen to the effected employees, and where possible, take into consideration their feedback when reaching your final decision.
This article was written by Alison Colley, Solicitor and Director at Real Employment Law Advice.
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