1 Strategy to Get Employees Thinking for Themselves

Does it ever feel like you could get more done, if only you had fewer interruptions?

Because you’re the business owner, you tend to be “the one who knows how to do everything” in the business.  It’s tempting for employees to come to you with questions before trying to figure things out on their own. In the interest of “saving time,” it’s tempting for you to answer their questions and move on.

However, doing this repeatedly creates a much bigger problem…you become the bottleneck in your business. When you’re the bottleneck, you can’t get around to doing the work “ON” your business that you need to be doing to grow it and add value.

If you’re bombarded with “How do I do this?” questions from employees, try implementing the “3 Before Me” rule of thumb. Before an employee comes to you with a question, they know they are expected to try 3 ways to find the solution. For example, they might look up directions, tinker with the problem themselves, or ask a co-worker.

To effectively implement the 3 Before Me rule of thumb:

1)  Make sure your employees are adequately trained in their position.
2)  Let employees know the “3 Before Me” rule of thumb is your expectation

We teach people how to treat us. So, if you are finding yourself frustrated by employees who don’t seem to think for themselves, try implementing the 3 Before Me rule of thumb. It may take a few weeks, but if you stick with it, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Sabrina Starling, Tap the PotentialWritten by:

Dr. Sabrina Starling

3 replies
  1. Donna
    Donna says:

    This is such a simple tool, which it what makes it so elegant! And you are so right, Sabrina. As leaders, we have to set the expectations and encourage our employees to rise to those expectations.

  2. Edwin Soler
    Edwin Soler says:

    Simplicity, the old is new again! When we walk away from keep things simple, only trouble will await. This post so short yet so simply powerful!

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