Many leaders complain about having their team members relying on them to answer every question, troubleshoot every problem and make every decision. They want their employees to think for themselves, do basic troubleshooting and make certain decisions.
When questions come up and machines break down, someone needs to come up with a solution. But, you as the leader, only have a finite amount of time on your hands. So, how do you get your team to solve more problems on their own and become more engaged and self-sufficient?
Privately, leaders will admit that it is a little bit of an ego boost when someone comes up to them and essentially says, “Oh, wise one, what shall we do?”
But, you’ll enjoy greater success if you can get your team to rely on themselves more often.
Why not extend an offer to show one or more team members how to troubleshoot equipment and quality issues so they can take the reigns in the event that you’re unavailable?
One of the participants in our training used this very approach. They were managing a paint line and if either the supervisor or team leader was away, the other person had to work nonstop without a break. Out of frustration the supervisor simply showed a motivated member of his team how to troubleshoot the paint line and this individual was able to step up. The benefits didn’t end there. Other workers who saw the employee take on added responsibility became fired up and wanted to become process experts themselves.
The supervisor reported that once the team started to get better at developing their expertise in the paint line, they were actually more motivated workers in general and overall morale improved.
And no, this had nothing to do with the team wanting some sort of raise or other reward. All that was needed was the opportunity to learn, which the supervisor provided; this created a team that expressed proactive interest to grow and develop.
You may be surprised by just how effective this is at creating an overall engine of growth. Just imagine the benefits of having an entire team that can solve problems, troubleshoot and even install their own preventative measures to avoid issues in the first place.
Not only will your department thrive, but it’ll create a higher level of engagement and enthusiasm across your entire team.
What’s one thing you do to encourage your team to become process experts?