Apr 2015 Letting go and trusting your staff
I was speaking with a landscaper yesterday and he said one of the reasons his business hadn’t grown is that he finds it so hard to let go and trust his leading hand to totally look after a job.
I told him that it a major challenge that many business owners go through.
I found the same thing in my previous business. When it was starting to grow, I found that it was often easier and a lot faster to just do the work than explain exactly what I wanted my employee (Nick) to do. The problem was Nick was getting annoyed that I couldn’t trust him enough to leave him alone. I also found that I needed to free up my time to grow the business but instead I was doing double the amount of work.
As I got progressively stressed and tired and Nick got more frustrated with me, it eventually came to a head in an argument. After we had blown off some steam, I told him I would be willing to give him more responsibility if he was willing to learn from me and raise his standards. I suppose until that day, I got frustrated that Nick couldn’t do things as well as me but to be realistic, I didn’t give him a chance and I hadn’t given him the right training.
From that day on things improved and we both made a real effort. I trained him, clarified his role and gave him more space to do his sales role well. Nick eventually became my manager, improved our sales systems and continued to shine. So a big lesson was learned, i.e. I could let go if I explained what I wanted my employee to do, show him how and clarify the standards I wanted him to achieve.
If you are finding it hard to let go, perhaps all you need at the moment is to map out a simple plan that starts with an honest talk to your employee.