By Dave Taylor, Director, LDR Leadership

“Because I said so”. Chances are we heard that line, or we used it ourselves. We likely heard it as kids growing up and if like me, used it with our kids. At some point in time, they start to ask “why”? Telling our kids “because I said so” is no longer as effective. Kids ask “why” as a way of learning and forming ideas around his or her view of society and the world around them. We explain to our kids as we want them to learn, understand, and become successful.

 As adults, we are the same. For leaders, managers, and supervisors, it is important to explain to our team the “why”. In doing so, we can create a positive culture within our organizations.

 Increase employee ownership.

 Every single person/job has a purpose. No one person makes an organization successful. The better our employees understand why their work is important and why what they do matters, the more ownership they will have in the success of the organization.

 Employees value a larger purpose.

 There is a large amount of research and data that demonstrates that the current generations desire a larger purpose than simply making a company money.  A recent study found that 73 percent of employees say their main driver in the workplace is that their work has meaning and purpose. Explaining why their work is important helps our employees understand the bigger purpose or “bigger picture” of their impact.

 Increase autonomy and better problem-solving.

 The more we can describe our thought process, the why behind our reasoning, the more our employees understand how we think. With this knowledge, they can begin to formulate ideas and solutions versus relying on someone to provide the answer. Being able to solve problems creates more autonomy which we all like – employees do not like to be micromanaged.

True North: As leaders, explaining the “why”, shows transparency to our team and organization, which builds trust. If an employee asks you “why”, do not assume they are challenging you and re-frame it to they might simply want to learn.