In your barn, you likely have a wide range of employees — some who are extremely capable and others who, well, aren’t. In this situation, managers often make the mistake of setting up rules and tasks so that even the least capable employee can execute them. But that can lead to major frustration for those in the ranks who know how to do the job correctly without following the outlined steps — you know, the very workers you’re so glad to have on board.
The key to a happy workforce is to give your workers sufficient latitude to make decisions that they are qualified to make, says the Harvard Business Review. You still need to ensure that you support those employees who need extra guidance, but micromanaging everyone will demean and frustrate your best workers. The Review suggests asking your workers what decisions they feel they could make but currently aren’t allowed to. Then, if you’re willing to give them a bit more wiggle room on that issue, remove whatever barriers are in place and allow them the ability to decide.
Of course, this requires clearly-communicated boundaries on which aspects of this new freedom are acceptable and which are not. And mistakes may happen, so make sure the stakes aren’t too high. But if the end result is a more invested, better-educated worker, that’s a win-win.