Team members at work want the same things we all want in every aspect of life.
I want to be trusted. I want my boss to believe in me and trust my judgment.
Replace the word “boss” with “spouse” or “parents” and the sentence above is still true. The leader-team member relationship is no different from any other relationship.
I want to control my own destiny. I want to have a voice in my career.
Replace the word “career” with “marriage” or “education” and the sentence is still true. We all want a sense of control and we all want a voice.
We’re continuing this series on the 8 Things Your Team REALLY Wants with part three today:
To be trusted and to control their own destiny.
And we’ll continue to use Simon’s company as an example. If you missed parts one and two, the links are below. Make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get posts via email (and get my free book as a bonus) so you don’t miss the last installment coming up.
Now, for the fifth and sixth things your team really wants.
5. To be trusted
You’re paying them fair. They have the right resources. You’ve given them a vision and set realistic goals. Great.
Now get out of the way!
Seriously, step aside. Give them the freedom to do what you hired them to do.
This means trusting them. It means allowing them to do things their way. It means giving up control.
Micromanaging is just a fancy way of saying “I don’t trust you.” “My way or the highway” is the single dumbest way to lead people.
When you choose to trust, guess what happens? People fail. People lie. People cheat you. People do stupid things. They will make mistakes. They will cost you money.
And you…and they…will also grow.
More times than not, they will succeed. Wildly.
More times than not, they will be truthful.
More times than not, the failures will be small and not costly.
Every time…every single time…you trust, you will grow as a leader and your team will grow as individuals and as a team. They will grow in the role you have them in now and they will grow as potential leaders.
Simon and his executive team were unknowingly distrustful of their VPs and managers. They were micromanaging them to death. It was one of the biggest reasons they were leaving in droves.
Key takeaway: Your team wants to be trusted, so you have a choice. You can choose to trust them and watch them grow or you can do it your way and stifle their growth.
6. Control of their own destiny
Your team wants control over their lives.
Some managers and leaders call the days of clocking in and clocking out and ruling with an iron fist “the good ol’ days.” Well, cowboy, those days are gone.
Today’s employees want control over their lives. They want to be able to attend their kids’ ballgames and take a long lunch when the situation requires. And they want control over their careers.
Simon and his executive team would move people around like pieces on a chessboard. Their VPs and managers that made it long enough were often moved to new roles with no input from them at all. Simon thought a “promotion” and more pay was what everyone wanted. The truth is that some leaders just wanted to continue what they were doing with their teams to completion. They wanted to see the fruits of their labor.
Simon and his team actually did a great job of giving their teams freedom in their personal lives. There was no clocking in or out. But many companies do fail in that area.
There seems to be some great mystery to knowing what people want in their careers. But there is a secret to knowing this information.
The secret to knowing what your team members want is…
Hold one-on-one meetings with them and ask them where they want to go in their career. Ask them if their personal lives are suffering as a result of work. Ask them what you can do to help them get more control over their lives.
Key takeaway: You can’t make career choices for your team. Get consistent input from them and use that to give them some control over their destiny.
Simon and his executive team stopped micromanaging and they began holding regular one-on-one meetings with their direct reports. From these, they learned how to give their VPs and managers even more freedom…and they are thriving as a result.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the last two things your team really wants:
Inside information (open leadership) and the right teammates
Question: Are trust and controlling your destiny at work important to you? Have you ever felt untrusted or out of control at work?