Small Business Minute #33- Responsibility & Authority

Small Business Minute #33 Responsibility and Authority

A common mistake entrepreneurs make is that they expect their employees to take responsibility for the job they are tasked to do but fail to give them the authority they need.

“It’s a little contradictory and more than frustrating for your team.”

This is particularly evident in customer service or customer facing positions. We tell our team that we want to provide the best customer service or experience, yet what typically happens is the individual is powerless to deliver on that promise without first checking with the owner or manager. It’s a little contradictory and more than frustrating for your team.

Additionally, by giving them the authority to solve the problem immediately for the customer, you’ve just increased the overall efficiency of that area and thereby reduced your costs. How so? It’s simple math. Think about it this way; a customer calls with an issue. The team member listens to the problem but even though they most likely know what should be done they don’t have the authority to remedy the situation because they need to check with the owner. So they take down the information and tell the customer they’ll get back to them. Now they need to track you down and most likely to be told the exact same thing they were thinking of in the first place. How much time got wasted? How often during the day, week or month does this happen? I repeat, how much time was wasted?

“Giving them the authority to go along with the responsibility, everybody wins!”

Most employees with any tenure know their limitations and will usually stay on side with your wishes and for those rare occasions when they get a little too generous, let them know and provide them with alternatives. This would be another teaching moment.

By giving them the authority to go along with the responsibility, everybody wins!

I’m Greg Weatherdon and this has been your Small Business Minute.

Find out more about Teaching Moments here

Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2016

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