How to build trust in your team
January 19, 2012
You're an entrepreneur, but you can't do everything yourself. It may be tempting - or even compulsory - to micro-manage and direct every little aspect of your business. And it's an understandable sentiment, too. After all, you created this company, so why shouldn't you be afforded every available resource to direct it as you see fit?
The truth is, you do have that freedom, but it's not necessarily a good idea to use it. Unless you're self-employed, you have a team of confidants and trusted experts who are there to handle as much or as little as you choose. The trick is to find comfort in relinquishing some of those duties. Recognize that, although your team may not have the same level of financial and emotional investment as you, they are still loyal to you and your company - unless you flubbed the hiring process. But that's a different discussion.
If you find yourself growing anxious every time you entrust someone with an important task, consider some of these tips for building a productive and reliable team.
Don't expect them to have every skill at their disposal
It's extremely likely that you'll have to train some of your new hires. Whether it's for a highly specific task related to your specific business, or it's an industry-wide service standard, give your workers some breathing room to learn. They will certainly appreciate and develop respect for a manager who understands their natural learning curve.
Recruit carefully and methodically
Since you can expect new hires to undergo an assimilation period, your interview process should focus on personal attributes and workplace compatibility. Of course, you need to weigh their experience and level of expertise, but that's not everything.
"We've created some documents for new employees to fill out right when they start about how they like to work, be rewarded, have meetings, etc," Caitlin McCabe, of Real Bullets Branding, told Small Business Trends. "By having this written down it gives our whole team an understanding of how new team members might fit in and creates a better work culture."
Encourage initiative and managerial autonomy
You can't be everywhere at once. Sooner or later, your team will need to make executive decisions - so the sooner you trust them to do so the better. You don't necessarily need to create a company policy, but a general strategy for solving problems may be a good idea.