As the leader of my business it’s my job to ensure that my employees have the necessary tools to be successful—and my absolute favorite tool for this is the almighty TO-DO List.
I keep the list for each employee on our server in a simple Word document. Each morning my employees review the list and start working on completing each task. At the end of the day I review the lists to get an update on possible areas where they may be held up and need my assistance. When they do get stuck and then figure out how to solve the problem themselves, I congratulate them on a job well done. Motivating them to solve their own problems helps to reduce the amount of time I’d otherwise have to spend fielding questions, and it also ensures that when I am needed, the time is spent on more substantial problems and not just simple misunderstandings.
Although good employees can and should be self-motivated to some degree, this falls short when they don’t know what the goals of the leader are which are constantly flexing and changing as the market changes and new challenges and opportunities arise. So in that sense the TO-DO List has another great advantage: it gives employees constant updates on the direction and focus of the company.
Yes, great leaders must provide other tools for employee success as well, such as supplies, fast computers, cell phones, equipment, etc., but the buck does not stop there. It’s also our responsibility to keep them focused and working toward common goals of the company. Employees do need to be guided, and the TO-DO List is a great way to do that while fostering critical-thinking.
Thanks & good luck!
Kate Meyers, Founder/President/CEO
Brown & Meyers, Inc.
PS—I just read an excellent book about this entitled It’s Okay to Be the Boss by Bruce Tulgan. The book dispels the myth that employees can be completely self-motivated, and I wanted to share it with all of you.