Butting Out

Through an in-house employee survey, Mark Scott, owner of Mark IV Builders in Cabin John, Md., learned from his employees that he delegated responsibility well.

August 31, 2002

 

Through an in-house employee survey, Mark Scott, owner of Mark IV Builders in Cabin John, Md., learned from his employees that he delegated responsibility well. The bad news was that too often Scott would butt in and try to do the work, causing resentment among the skilled crew he had worked so hard to assemble.

So Scott started carrying tickets for free lunches. Anytime an employee catches Scott trying to take over something he has assigned to someone else, the employee can ask for a free lunch card.

Scott says he never realized pizza could be so expensive, but he also says it’s working. He’s giving out fewer lunch cards these days as he’s learning to let employees do their jobs without his “help.”

“There is a danger of stepping too far back as a result of using the cards,” Scott warns. “It is still the owner’s or manager’s or supervisor’s responsibility to ‘trust but verify.’ But as long as the ground rules are understood, it’s a great system.”

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