Most business leaders fail to make sure their people are on the same page
One of the most devastating things that could happen to a business is when its employees are not fully aligned when it comes to objectives. We’re not just talking about daily targets and monthly quotas; we’re talking about broader aims that you as a business owner and the company as an entity would like to achieve.
Why is this so important? Why do lower-level employees need to see the bigger picture?
What you don’t want is to have your employees perform tasks blindly without even knowing what exactly they are contributing and what those contributions mean for the company. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying all employees need to be part of everything that happens from the bottom up. This only means there should be a certain level of transparency and clarity when it comes to what the team intends to accomplish in the grand scheme of things.
So how do ensure that your people fully grasp your personal and business “why”?
Communicate objectives in detailed and measureable terms
“That’s not what I asked for.” Have you ever said this to any of your employees before? While this is clearly a case of miscommunication, the blame is not solely on the employee; you should have made sure that your expectations were clearly and explicitly communicated.
That also applies in a larger sense. Groups of employees or teams may have this idea that they’re doing each of their goals the right way, but once everything is done and the collective results don’t hit the bottom line, imagine the amount of resources wasted.
Define success. State your goals in terms of numbers and what those numbers mean. Provide your employees with start and end dates helps to reinforce expectations. Clarify specific roles and people who would be accountable should they fail to meet the goals.
Always gauge their level of understanding
If you really want to make sure your employees are fully informed, you can check whether or not they have fully understood the communication. If your employees don’t perform as expected, the fault lies with you.
How will you do that? By doing a simple follow-up. If you had gathered everyone inside the conference room to discuss your targets, make sure no one leaves the room without knowing exactly what to do, how to do it and why they need to. You can also send a simple follow-up email detailing the discussion and having people to reply with their corresponding targets and timelines. Use whatever resource you have to check if they’re in the right mindset. If you want to make it more personal, why not talk to each person and assess their level of understanding?
Evaluate the progress early
Check if everyone’s on the right track as early as possible. If things are doing fine in the initial part of the process, chances are everything’s going to be smooth and that your people were able to correctly get your points. But be careful in checking the progress. There’s a difference between nagging and asking for updates.
If possible, look for ways to check how everything is doing by not actually checking. Have people send quick reports at specific times or stages. Use automation to check running trends and numbers without having to constantly bug people for data. If all movements point to the right direction, you may not need further monitoring and you can go back to working on more urgent things while waiting for final results.