As loyal readers will know, Old Taskmaster is fond of building employee engagement.
Now of course, this certainly does not mean you should be an amiable well-mannered doormat or a lazy do-nothing slacker of a boss. You should absolutely set the strategic direction, the boundaries and the rules of engagement for your business.
If there are issues, sometimes you do need to be firm and there are times when you need to make a final decision, right or wrong.
However, if you aren’t happy to delegate the finer details of execution to your staff within your objectives and boundaries, frankly you’ve probably done a poor job of hiring.
And if your staff feel like they own those decisions around execution, it can be a powerful motivating force.
In the past week, your humble correspondent came across the perfect example of just such a program in action.
According to this article in Network World, executives at IT giant IBM have recently introduced a Kickstarter-style crowdfunding website for projects within their company.
How it works is this: Each year, each staff member in the program is given a $US100 budget. This money can be “invested” in internal IBM crowdfunding projects.
Meanwhile, each staff member is free to contribute possible projects to run or products that need to be purchased. It might be a robotics research program or a new printer. Like Kickstarter, each project also has a target it needs to reach.
If a project or purchase meets its target, it gets that budget. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t go ahead.
From a cashflow point of view, your staff can choose to either “invest” their budget on small purchases that directly benefit them, or support larger purchases that benefit the whole company. But either way, it will be staff themselves, rather than you as an angry, mean boss, who will make that tough decision.
Now, while your start-up mightn’t be able to organise a project like this on the scale of IBM, if you have a few staff, it might be worth considering a similar project within your business.
Get it funded – today!