Most managers he and myself know, don’t readily share information outright, especially directive from the management. This is dangerous as your team members could be left in the dark, not knowing or understanding the clause they are working hard for. Those who know me well, are aware that I am a strong advocate for the motto “Knowledge is Power”.
Here’s are some of the reasons that sharing is caring:
1) Fight for Common Clause
We need to know what we are fighting for. A nearing goal of each payday is no longer enough for us nowadays, we need to know that we are a part of changing mankind, impacting the world. That is the reason people want to work for Apple, because they believe the innovative creations are changing people’s use of technology each day.
You need to give your team a reason (or many reasons) to feel passionate about their role. Allow them to feel that they are empowered and doing something worthwhile. Don’t assume that they will find it within themselves. Most of us are usually too busy to bother and soon at the end of day, you wondered what have you done today that is worth it.
2) Gives Directions
When comes to sticky decisions, your team need to know where the company stands in order to make the right decision. You are not always going to be there to hand hold them while they make their decision. If your company is all about customer satisfaction, then your staff will know how to act and provide out of the box solution to customer.
3) Battle along with you
Sometimes, I envision that my teammates are my soldiers and I’m their captain, each day is a battle and if we get through the day unharmed, it’s a battle won. My team knows this and thinks I’m crazy but crazily good or crazily funny. When I shared information with them on the decisions I made, they appreciate and in turn they shared how they felt on the subject, moreover, they usually gave me time or even help me to execute it.
Take example, one of my previous companies decided to announce the Customer Service department to upsell our products as well. It was expected that employees get very upset that the company is not taking service recovery as a priority but sales means more to them. Before the announcement, I have mentally prepped myself to give my own talk to my team. So right after the talk before they could digest and discuss among themselves, I took half an hour to point out the benefits. I told them “Hey, we used to be a cost centre and now our company just gave us the opportunity to become a profit centre. Imagine the look of Gabriel’s face when we top his numbers?” Gabriel* was our sales director and he is famous for being mean and boastful.
“If our numbers are really that good, I think you all just gave me a very good justification to ask Gabriel for something more, perhaps a new commission scheme.”
My whole team laughed and started to get excited. I went further to sing “You used to be able to serve and now you can sell too. How will it look on your résumé? I just hope Gabriel doesn’t pounce on my best sellers, I won’t have any more people to lead.”
The other Customer Service teams walked by our meeting room, thinking we are crazy. Laughing and creating a lot of hoohas when the company just added on a new responsibility without adding on pay.
Well, at the end of next quarter, we all know whose team supersede the target as well as made Gabriel’s eyebrows raised.
4) Empower them
When situation allows, I like to do something called “Passing the Responsibility around”. Instead of making the decision myself, I ask my team to make the decision together. We all get to vote for or against but as long as one of us vote against, we will not make that decision. Just simply because we are a team. So instead of heaving all the responsibility on my shoulders when things goes wrong, my entire team knows that the responsibility will fall on each and everyone’s shoulders. They tend to work harder, be more careful and felt extremely proud of themselves and the whole team when we managed to pull it off.
5) Help them Help you
You know those long droning sleep inducing conference showcase where our CEOs will step on a podium and start to go through slides of figures and earnings of the past quarter? You probably don’t have space to sit and require to stand at the back shoulder to shoulder, like many others packed in the auditorium. Unless you are one of those finance fanatics and you get excited purely by the % symbol, you probably wished that the presentation could end sooner so you don’t have to work overtime to cover the time you have lost.
Your team will be lost, drowning in numbers that mean little to them. Usually, I’ll use the information and break it down further for them and present those figures in a more lighthearted way during my own team meeting. This is also allowing them to ask questions freely, not fearing they might embarrass themselves in front of the whole company in the auditorium.
Those quarterly conference are meant to show the employees the company’s results and their contributions. It’s well-meaning but a lot of the times, the presentations are projected by top management using the terms only top management will understand. But we should let the well-meaning gesture get lost in all that jargon so by helping your team understand, you are helping to fuel their knowledge too.
Do you wish your manager could have done more? Share your stories with me, like I have mentioned at the top of this article, sharing is caring! In order not to miss any of my new articles, follow me here or at Twitter MiddleMe_net.