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Trusting employees to run your business when you aren't there?

manandwomanbacktoback63312983.jpgAny business owner understands the worry that comes with delegating your workload. No matter how much time you devote to a company, you cannot be there all the time and there will come a time when you need to learn how to trust your employees to run your business when you aren't there. Learning to trust others entails taking on a risk, which has backfired due to faulty hiring procedures. Small business owners are particularly reluctant to delegate power to employees because they completely rely on the success of the business to feed their family. For small business owners, trusting others means there is more to lose and when there is such a high-risk situation, it makes it almost impossible for them to learn to trust their employees to run the business. Although it will be hard, you do need to learn how to delegate some of the responsibilities and trust your employees to run your business when you aren't around.

When it comes to trusting your employees, you need to be aware of a couple things that drive trust. First, you have the motives behinds trust. Motives behind trust simply refer to the reason why you can trust this person. Do you have similar work ethics? What is it about this person that makes you feel confident in their abilities? Second, you must trust the person for their ability to do their job. Why did you hire this person? What skills and talents can they bring to the job? As you evaluate the employees that work for you, it is important to look at the different types of trust so you can find a person that you can leave your business to when you cannot be there.

It is common for managers to leave the business with a person that has a higher level of skill versus a person that they trust for morale or personal reasons. This is because a person that has a higher level of skill usually is respected by other employees and is often feared by them as well.

To learn how to trust your employees and to build relationships with them, offer them some mini-projects. This is an easy way to test their ability to manage the business when you aren't around. Observe the way they work and the different customer situations they are in. As you keep a watchful eye on them, start expanding their responsibilities. It could be something short like watching the floor while you are in a meeting or holding down the fort while you run errands for a couple of hours. As you start giving them some mini-projects, you will be able to gain an idea for their ability to manage the store when you are gone. If they pass the mini tests, you will be able to leave the store with them for days or even a week at a time.

Rely on your instincts to help your evaluate people that you can trust. If you don't have a good feeling about leaving the company with one particular employee, don't do it. Perhaps leave it with another employee that may not have all the necessary skills, but has the people skills to allow the business to keep functioning until you can get back to handle the rest. You might also try trusting the business to two of your employees versus one. This is a great way to make sure both employees will stay honest as they will be checking up on one another.

Always have some clear disciplinary rules to present to your employees. These rules should inform them of what will happen to them if they do not uphold the business standards and if they are caught doing anything inappropriate during the time when you are away.

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Posted by DF
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