“What can I do for you to make you better at what you do?”
It’s a good question and one that should always be asked.
Especially if you have hired for their skills and experience in their given role.
However, (there’s always a however), when you ask the question, be prepared for the answers!
The ‘answer’ may not be something you have thought of, or deemed even relevant to the process.
So what do you do next?
A common trap to fall into is to pay lip service to the suggestion and then discount it because it doesn’t align with your expected answer. Or it means that you need to do something else when your to do list is already the length of a small novel and you can’t quite justify the time.
The consequence of this is a disillusioned worker who thinks their input is not valid. If they don’t think their input is valid, ultimately they will stop sharing these valuable insights. All to the detriment of your overarching view of the business.
What do you do differently then?
If the ‘answer’ doesn’t feel important to you, then find out why it is important to them. Remember, they have a different insight into what is happening and you may be missing something that could significantly help your business.
This process of investigation will also test your workers reasons why they want it – whether it is for an excuse of not doing something else or if it genuinely help them be better at what they do.