The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.
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What is the most valuable insight you’ve ever gotten from an employee about how YOU could perform better?
I was told to work less because it was a bit intimidating to get emails at all hours of the night — not to mention that it generally meant I wasn’t paying attention to a lot of things that really matter, such as employee satisfaction and balance in their lives. I’ve learned to bring a bit more balance to my life and hold off on sending those emails until the morning. – Tracey Wiedmeyer, InContext Solutions
I have received feedback that I’m intimidating, or that an employee may not know how to approach me. And honestly, I’m an intense guy and it’s hard for me to lighten up at times. That being said, I’m aware of this feedback and keep it in the back of my mind when I’m thinking about interactions with fellow employees. I want everyone to feel comfortable and at ease around me. – Luke Skurman, Niche.com
One of my employees taught me how important it is to have trust in my team. She told me, “You trained us, now trust us to do the work.” I perform better when I know that my employees have everything taken care of. Micromanaging, second-guessing and peering over your employees’ shoulders doesn’t help anyone. Trust your employee training, trust your employees and trust yourself. – Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People
4. Explain the “why” and give clear guidelines
When an employee doesn’t know why something needs to get done, it can be demotivating and plain old confusing. By giving the “why” and also clear expectations and guidelines of the work or task at hand, it’s easier to work on and make sure you’re going in the right direction. It also helps them make decisions if things come up and you’re not there to answer questions! – Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.
5. Let go of “Don’t bring me problems without a solution”
I thought that telling my employees not to bring me problems without a solution would encourage them to be more independent thinkers, but apparently it was perceived more as a barrier. Turns out employees don’t always have the resources or insight they need to solve problems on their own — usually brainstorming together is more effective and encourages team collaboration and communication. – Jared Brown, Hubstaff
6. Offer positive reinforcement
Nearly everyone I’ve ever worked with has said the same thing: “A positive word from time to time goes a long way.” So remember to recognize a job well done. It keeps moral high, keeps people motivated and can drastically improve your workplace’s atmosphere. — Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
7. Say what other team members are working on
As a founder, I tend to know what everyone in the business is doing. But that doesn’t mean my employees do, too. One of the most valuable insights I recieved was when an engineer told me he didn’t know what other engineers were working on. We rolled out tons of improvements in our team communications to overcome this. — Ioannis Verdelis, Fleksy
8. Have compassion for yourself
One of the best things someone said to me is, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” It’s easy to say, but it makes a huge difference if you act with compassion in your work, not just for others but for yourself. Acting with compassion also means thinking long term and not beating yourself up over every short-term failure. This creates more meaning and value for our businesses and for ourselves. — Erica Dhawan, Cotential
It can be easy to get caught up in trying to be all things to all people. To create stability within yourself and your organization, I was advised to be a tree with walking roots. Be strong in your convictions, speak up when it matters and be unafraid to be your own gloriously, unique you. As new facts and situations are presented to you, your roots can always walk a little. – Dawn Strobel, Go By Truck
As a company grows, it becomes more difficult for a CEO to be involved in everyday operations and decision-making. However, I have learned that it’s very important to be available to your team and make them feel that you are still present and involved in their work and their accomplishments on a regular basis. — Zach Cutler, Cutler PR