Are Your Employees Mind Readers?

November 11, 2015

employee engagement

One of the most common issues I see when working with SME’s is poor clarity of expectations. Your employees aren’t mind readers and they need guidance and direction from fellow employees and also their managers.

When I’m with clients I often say I’m not very good at reading minds. In fact it’s worse than that – I can’t read minds. Sure I can guess what somebody might be thinking or I can assume they are working from the same assumptions as me. But at best it’s educated guesswork.

Things that you might think are clear could be anything but from your employees’ point of view. It could be that the boss is not being clear on what they expect from the member of staff or maybe some colleagues aren’t sure who does what so struggle to get work done efficiently? It goes back to some of the things I’ve talked about in my past employee engagement blogs, ensuring that every employee understands the Business Plan and what their role is in executing it.

What’s The Solution To Make Sure My Employees Understand?

Clarity is the answer. Ask questions, enquire about assumptions, check meanings, do whatever it takes to be 100% clear. Make sure that your employees understand your reasons for so many questions though as the last thing you need is them getting paranoid and thinking that something is wrong. Communication is key.

I’m The Boss…What Can I Do?

Get the basics sorted! Ensure everyone has a job description that is short and focused and they know what the key tasks are and;

  • How they’ll know that they are doing a good job
  • What tools / knowledge they need to do the job and where they fit within the organisation
  • Who to go to if they need clarification or support.

It’s Good To Talk

Job descriptions aren’t a secret – people who work together should understand what their colleagues are meant to do. It’s good to have regular team meetings to share this information and also to discuss how things could be tweaked to ensure productivity is at an optimum level. Here’s a few more pointers on what could be discussed at team meetings:

  • How has the business / team performed
  • What could be done to improve things
  • Who is going to do what to make those improvements.

The meetings don’t need to be long, drawn-out affairs – a quick 10 to 15 minutes every few days would be enough and would certainly get more action than those long boring monthly team meetings some of you will have experienced! But always have an open door policy so that everyone knows they can raise any issues at any point.

I found an article which adds further insight into the fact that your team can’t read your mind!

Peter Cruikshanks is an experienced ‘Change Agent’ with over 20 years’ experience in driving business improvement programmes for companies such as Yorkshire Water, Green Flag and Deloitte Consulting.

Peter is also a registered and approved Growth Coach for GrowthAccelerator, working with ambitious businesses who want to achieve rapid and sustainable growth.