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Provide choices to employees

Continuing on our journey to uncover the leadership behaviors behind Self Determination Theory this post turns to providing choices to employees. Turning this on it's head, think of the micro managers or helicopter managers you've had, what did they do that turned you off? Based on that what could you do?

Here are some ideas I've found useful:

  • Stand back and encourage employees to take initiative.

  • Allow employees to contribute to important decisions. Ask their opinions They don't have to make the decision, but you can ask what factors they would consider to make the decision

  • Clarify and explain structure that employees find limiting. Often there are valid reasons why things are done a certain way, laws, safety regulations etc. that limit an employees choices. Explaining that to them gives a context to the "why" behind the "what" and shifts perspective.

  • Allow employees the greatest flexibility possible in their jobs. I call this one "think inside the box". As above with structures employees find limiting, there is often still a great deal of flexibility within those constraints. Sales people might find it limiting to have to use the CRM or log a set number of calls each week, but there is still flexibility in how they do that. Explore the possibilities with them. They'll surprise you!

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