Empowerment & The Hallelujah Chorus

 

Cashier

The manager of a retail store told employees that their responsibility was to make transactions easy and quick for customers. However, if an item had no price or bar code, the cashier was required to call a manager. 

What’s wrong with this picture?  

We can do two things to make it easy and non-threatening for our team members to make decisions independently.
  
1. First, ask them "What are some situations where you aren’t sure whether to take an action or to refer it to me?" Then clarify what you want: "Well, in a situation like that, I’d like you to (fill in a, b, or c below).
  
    a.  Ask me for a decision or permission before taking action
 
    b.  Inform me after taking action
 
    c.  No need to inform or involve me: "You handle it." (insert "Hallelujah Chorus" here)  
 
2.  Second, make a positive comment when he decides and acts. If his decision wasn’t exactly the one you’d like, calmly and warmly say "Next time, I’d like you to _________________. You made the right decision not to keep the customer waiting. I’m glad you handled it."
 
Correct the decision but reinforce the action of deciding.
 
How much time could you save yourself (while developing your team members) by moving the decision-making one notch "down the alphabet" above?
 
How much more will your team members enjoy their work, and be prepared for more responsibility?
 
How delighted will your (internal or external) customers become?
 
Hallelujah.