Getting employees to buy into your ideas can be a tricky proposition. If you hint at something and the employees happen to agree, you can’t turn around and say it was their idea when, in fact, you had a hidden agenda and were just trying to get it rubber-stamped.
“Employees, many times, can smell that out very quickly,” says Chris Hinrichs, ad hoc instructor with the University of Wisconsin School of Business Executive Education.
Hinrichs suggests being sincere and truthful. Let the employees know ahead of time what the parameters will be. You might tell them, “I need and want your input, but I may not necessarily come to the same conclusion.” Or, tell them that you will make the decision together. Or, they alone will make the decision.
It’s conditional, he adds. The owner of a courier-dispatch company might want to let his employees pick out new vehicles when restocking the company fleet, as long as they stay within certain budget constraints. After all, employees are the ones who will be driving the vehicles. But, when the employer goes to pick the insurance carrier for the vehicles, it’s rightfully his decision to make.