How many of your employees though have the ability to judge for themselves whether or not they are indeed doing a good job? Indeed, what does a good job actually look like? A good work ethic is essential but it’s really about being productive and delivering results of one form or another.
Why not ask them? Take 3-5 people at random in your company and ask just one question: – “What results do you have to achieve that tell us both whether or not you are doing a good job?”
Please don’t be shocked but if your company is typical, most people haven’t got a clue! So, what are they doing each day? The answer is usually “being busy” or occasionally waiting for someone to tell them what to do. As a result, there is often little sense of direction, ownership and responsibility or achievement and little creativity or pro-activity.
Just imagine though if employees knew what results had to be achieved in all aspects of their job and, at any time, could evaluate the gap between what was actually happening and what was supposed to be happening. We suspect that most people would go about finding ways to address it for themselves or ask for help, working on the original premise that most people come to work wanting to do a good job.
Furthermore, if there were accountability and consequences (good and bad) attached to results achievement plus a process of coaching and training in place to help, not only would management be a lot easier but employees would also be more focused, motivated and productive.
In our experience, the lack of agreed, results-based expectations is at the very root of most management and employee frustration, together with a lack of performance management or coaching.
The challenge for most companies is moving from a task-based culture (we will tell you what to do) to a results-based culture (we will agree on the results you need to achieve in all aspects of your job and give you some flexibility in how you go about achieving them so you can use your initiative). The key issue in this transition is trust i.e. “Do I trust my people?” If not, this will come through in every aspect of your own management behaviour, often creating more problems.
The answer initially lies not in training employees, but in re-training managers to clearly define expectations in terms of results and suggested activities then develop more of a coaching style of management.
Naturally, managers also have to ensure that expectations are directly linked to corporate goals if ownership and responsibility for their achievement is to be genuinely driven down throughout an organisation.
Don’t forget, once promoted into any form of management, success depends less on your own efforts and but lies more in the hands of your team!
If you identify with these issues and are keen to improve business, team or individual performance, please talk to us – measurable improvements can be achieved.