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At Weed Man, we use the management circle (empower, verify, follow up, adjust) to demonstrate how we approach the day-to-day organization of our business. This management style places emphasis on individual performance and focuses on training our employees to be their absolute best. Here’s how it works:

Empower.

After training our employees, we grant them the trust to go out and perform their responsibilities.

Employee empowerment means allowing members of your team to act autonomously in their work and make decisions on their own. This level of trust ultimately fosters honest leadership, open communication and employee job satisfaction.

For all intents and purposes, empowerment is the direct opposite of micromanagement. It is not, as many mistakenly believe, the practice of relinquishing all managerial power.

It involves trusting your employees so that they feel confident and empowered enough to perform to the best of their abilities. Employee empowerment goes hand in hand with overall job satisfaction. It will prompt members of your team to take action, make decisions and work toward a common goal. Verify. We trust our employees by empowering them to do their jobs. We also verify their work through measurement and quality control.

Verifying involves “checking in” to confirm projects are being completed, and, more importantly, being completed well. How often you verify an employee’s work is completely up to you, and likely depends on your level of trust in an individual’s abilities. Even if you encourage relative autonomy, you’ll want to assess work quality on occasion to ensure it meets or exceeds your standards. Not only will verification keep employees on point and eager to perform, it also gives added peace of mind when it comes to work flow and deliverables.

Follow up.

It is essential that you follow up with employees on a regular basis to ensure clarity and continued success. Following up involves communicating with staff members in order to assess performance and confirm satisfaction from both the manager and employee(s).

Following up with employees has many benefits:

    • It helps ensure that the new skills and knowledge an employee acquired during training are being properly applied to the job in question.

    • It provides your employees with the opportunity to speak openly about the challenges and successes they face within their daily tasks (this is particularly crucial during an employee’s first weeks and months on a job).

    • It allows you to stay on top of company progress as employees grow and develop within their roles.

    • It highlights learning gaps and areas for improvement, enabling you to rearrange initial training or provide employees with additional resources/support.

    • It demonstrates your dedication to employee success.

    • It shows your employees that their performance plays an active role in the inner workings of your company.

Adjust.

The next crucial step in the management circle is adjusting. Adjusting involves taking action in regards to any employee knowledge gaps or deficiencies in your training methods. More simply, it means changing anything that isn’t consistently working or giving you the results you need to succeed.

Take a step back. When following up with an employee, you may discover gaps in your training methods or the employee in question has a more innovative way of doing things. This is where adjusting plays a key role. It’s important you take what you learned in your follow-up and implement positive changes within your company’s infrastructure.

Although this may seem like a big project to take on, keeping things as they are will simply perpetuate poor results. Don’t be afraid to adjust your methods to close any gaps and/or revamp the training programs you already have in place.

We’ve approached the management circle in stages, but each component is by no means exclusive. They all go hand in hand and rely on one another for success. Integrating this circular process within your place of work will not only make you a better manager, but will also help your employees perform to the best of their abilities.

Jen Lemcke is chief operating officer for Weed Man, USA.