Businesses have been warned to schedule one-on-one time with staff and train them to take on responsibility, or risk becoming so wrapped up in the day-to-day management of their companies that employees will start leaving, according to a new survey.
The survey of 501 office professionals in Australia found 93% believe a good career coach is mandatory for job satisfaction, but one in four said they hadn’t received any direct coaching from their manager, while 16% say they get it just once a year.
Robert Half director Andrew Morris warned SmartCompany readers that entrepreneurs can get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of running a business, while more strategic approaches to managing staff can fall by the wayside.
“There are some really basic things entrepreneurs can do, and one is just making sure you get people away from their desk and meet with them,” he says.
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Morris says businesses actually need to stop and schedule regular catch ups with each employee to give them feedback. That could be as often as once a week, or once a month – just as long as it happens more than once a year.
“Many entrepreneurs just get chained to their desk and they don’t meet with people. So it’s important they go into a meeting room, and be quite strategic about what someone is doing well and what they aren’t doing well.”
The other point Morris makes is that entrepreneurs often don’t leave people to their own devices to make decisions. This can have disastrous effects – people will leave a company if they aren’t given enough control.
“A lot of people treat employees like goldfish. It’s easier to give them an answer than for them to come up with it by themselves. The answer to this is through effective questioning.
“When someone has an issue, you should work with them and ask them questions like, ‘What do you think you should do?’ Whether it’s an issue with a client or something else, role play it, get them to deal with it, and then have them do it.”
Morris says this should be built into what entrepreneurs are doing in their businesses to make sure staff are properly trained. Otherwise, he says, staff will leave for opportunities elsewhere.
“Entrepreneurs tend not to trust the people under them to do their job, so they take more and more on themselves. People never feel empowered, and then they go.
“You need to empower the people below you, and get away from that day-to-day aspect to do some coaching.”