37093471_SAre you solving too many of your company’s problems and challenges on your own? For your business to reach its true potential, you need a team of employees who can make their own quality decisions. Here are three ways to help your employees become better problem-solvers:

Ask your employees for their opinions on a regular basis. Give your employees a voice in key decisions. A great way to build rapport is to make your employees feel as if their opinions are welcomed and that you and your leadership team are not the only one making important decisions. Listening is key. Take the time to listen to your employees and what they have to say. Solicit their views and ask for their opinions on a regular basis. Give your company’s employees and leaders the opportunity to make tough decisions.

Provide flexibility. Assign a project or task, but give employees flexibility in how they carry it out. When they come to you for direction, don’t just let them know how you would do it. Ask questions to help them discover their choices —and the right path — on their own. For leaders who aren’t used to this approach — and employees who aren’t used to making key decisions — there likely will be an adjustment period. That’s OK — allowing employees more leeway on how they manage their work and solve problems can lead to creative and quality solutions and initiatives over the long term.

Know that mistakes will happen. How do you — and your company — handle mistakes? Many leaders and employees don’t like taking risks and have a difficult time dealing with failures. In some companies, there’s even a culture of avoiding mistakes at all costs, one that encourages employees to hide missteps (or shift the blame to someone else) when they do happen. If you’re trying to empower your employees and encourage innovation, there’s a better way. Encouraging employees to be problem-solvers and innovative in their approach to their work begins with letting them know that it’s OK when things don’t turn out like they had hoped. Experiments sometimes just don’t work. New initiatives can fizzle. But these ‘failures’ can be tremendous learning experiences and even prove the springboard for success over the long term if handled correctly. As Stephen Covey once said:

“The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.”

The bottom line: Make sure your employees aren’t afraid to take risks and try new things. Give them the freedom to take on new projects and initiatives and find strategies to make them successful. Taking calculated risks is an important part of growing a successful company.

Learn more about how Rich in Thought consulting can help your business reach its full potential. Schedule a Meeting with me today.

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