Why You Should Give Staff Freedom Within Clear Guidelines

In: BlogDate: Dec 13, 2017By: Claire Lickman

Henry Stewart speaks to the Eth Word about management and creating freedom within clear guidelines for staff.

"Most people don't want complete freedom," argues Henry. "If you ask them, 90% or more say 'we don't want to be told what to do... we want some guidelines, and then the freedom to operate within those.' And that's what we work hard to create, so that people feel... in control of their job. They can do stuff and know what the boundaries are."

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Why You Should Give Staff Freedom Within Clear Guidelines

Most people don’t want complete freedom. If you ask them then 90% or more say ‘We don’t wanna be told what to do, but no, we don’t want ‘yes’ to be said ‘do whatever you like. We want some guidelines, and then the freedom to operate within those.’ And that’s what we work hard to create, so that people feel that, in control of their job. They can do stuff and know what the boundaries are. It’s all common sense.

There are some people, me included, who quite like just working on their own. But, most people like someone to support them. They don’t necessarily want somebody to manage them, okay, but then you come to the role of the managers. Would you like to have somebody who builds your confidence, who asks you questions, who help you find the solution, who never tells you what to do? Ask people that and they say ‘Yeah, I’d love that’. It’s called coaching, of course, and that is what great managers do. 

So one of the things we do with organisations is we get them to switch from a traditional management model to one of the manager as the coach, and you choose your manager and they coach you. If you get to work and there’s a note from your manager saying that ‘I want to see you at two o’clock’ then do you feel excited? Because, actually, if it’s all working well then you should, you should be looking forward to a half-hour session where you can talk about yourself with somebody who supports you and coaches you.

 

In this short video, Henry Stewart, founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happy, speaks to the Eth Word about creating freedom within clear guidelines for staff and the role of managers.

"Would you like to have somebody who builds your confidence, who asks you questions, who help you to find the solution, who never tells you what to do? Ask people that and they say ‘Yeah, I’d love that’. It’s called coaching, of course, and that’s what great managers do," explains Henry.

Could you change your managers to have more of a coaching role? How could you give staff more control over their roles?

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, originally set up as Happy Computers in 1987. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he has built a company which has won multiple awards for some of the best customer service in the country and being one of the UK’s best places to work.

Henry was listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential management thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business," explained list compiler Stuart Crainer.

His first book, Relax, was published in 2009. His second book, the Happy Manifesto, was published in 2013 and was short-listed for Business Book of the Year.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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