I was just promoted to executive manager at a large hotel last October. Sometimes I need to be away from the hotel for meetings or to travel to our other sister locations. My employees get scared if they can’t reach me and feel that the world will collapse if I’m not around. How can I show them that they can handle responsibility without me?
First of all, I want to commend you for taking a proactive approach. You are demonstrating excellent leadership and management skills by trusting your employees while you are away and encouraging them to be more self-sufficient. Now let’s explore why they are possibly reacting to your absence. Since you are trying to “TOT-proof” your own department, we need to look at all areas!
The first area is training. Confident employees know how to do their job well whether or not you are there. If you have not trained them thoroughly, they may feel scared of the mistakes they could make, or worse, your reaction to their mistakes. Secondly, it could be that you have demonstrated irrational fears or neediness yourself, and they are following your lead. The last possibility is that they simply want to do a good job for you and not disappoint you. Explore all of these ideas. Ask them straight-up what you can do to alleviate their fear. Tell them that you share the same goal of having a successful organization and you want to be the best manager possible. Good luck!
Got a TOT? You’re not alone! Dare to share your story at the TOT Blog with other TOT tamers in the making, while Lynn helps you: cope with difficult or childish bosses and office politics, and humanize your workplace™. Post your question for Lynn, and she will try her best to answer it in an upcoming TOT Tamer Advice Column. Be sure to visit the Tame Your TOT site.