Getting The Results Your Organisation Needs
Why specific organisations exist and what defines success for them is almost as varied as the people who make them up. Whatever organisation you’re a part of though, the need for people to achieve results is the same.
Assuming your vision and mission are clear, and you have people with the necessary capability to deliver outcomes, there are a few basic principles that will ensure the people who make up your team have the best shot at delivering the needed results.
I believe that the vast majority of people want to do things that make a difference, that helps achieve goals (theirs and their organisations) and that help them grow. If that’s true, then what our people ‘need’ to achieve the desired organisational results should be thought about in terms of what is essential, what they deserve, and what is their right to have to make that difference happen.
I often talk about the 3 R’s, or the three rights of the employee. They are:
- The right to know what is expected of them
- The right to know how they are going against expectation
- The right to be developed
When we can honestly declare that we’ve given these three rights to our employees, then we have the right to manage performance!
The right to know expectations
It makes sense, but do every one of your team members know exactly what part they play in delivering on the organisation’s strategic objectives? If they do know what the expectations are, do they know how to achieve them, or how to find out how to?
What are the indicators of success? Do you know, and do your people know?
Knowing expectations might include ensuring that position descriptions are up to date and that people have clear, S.M.A.R.T. performance objectives. It’s more than that though. Position descriptions can’t convey what’s happening in the organisation right now, so finding effective ways to ensure your people understand the strategic priorities and what is keeping you up at night comes hand in hand with everyone understanding their specific responsibilities, accountabilities and how their positions fit together to achieve the desired results.
Clear procedure documentation to ensure consistency in what is being done, individuals understanding their level of responsibility and authority to make things happen, and where they can go to for support is also critical to ensure that barriers to goal achievement don’t create long term roadblocks to success.
The right to know progress against expectations
Have you ever launched into a project or activity only to find out later that you didn’t properly understand the requirements or all of the steps that needed to be taken to do the task properly? I think we all know the answer because it’s the same for everyone!
Failing to monitor progress and to give feedback and direction to our people is like giving a car salesman a bag of cash and asking them to get us the car we want, but not providing any other information. If we’re lucky, the car that arrives will be the one that we wanted, however, there’s a much bigger chance that we won’t get what we wanted, and we’ll need to go back to the start and try again, minus the cash that’s already been spent!
The best source of initial information on progress towards goals is reporting, which our people and we have access to. Data by itself though is only part of the need that our people have. We should also provide feedback on how they are doing their tasks, the outcomes they are achieving and what they need to do differently in the future.
Feedback, in whatever form it takes, allows people to reflect on what they are doing and what they need to do in the future. Without it, you can’t expect that anything will change, even if it needs to.
The right to be developed
Looking back 10 or 20 years, how much has changed in the way people work and in the skills they need in order to be successful at work?
Throughout our careers, we’ve all needed to learn to do new things and to change the way we do things to produce better results. The likelihood is that you also haven’t made it to where you are in your career without the feedback, advice and support of key people within your organisations.
The right to be developed starts with basic training and development activities that are essential for our people’s current and future positions. It goes beyond that though and includes day to day support, guidance and coaching that enables all of our people to implement necessary changes in the way they do things, which in turn delivers better organisational outcomes.
Developing people might come in the form of direct feedback or coaching, by you or others, additional training, involvement in cross functional projects and initiatives to broaden their understanding of the organisation, and even through articles and research that will help expand knowledge and understanding.
The role of leaders and managers is to deliver results for their organisation, and we owe it to those organisations to do whatever it takes to achieve the best results.
There are a lot of reasons why specific organisations exist, and ultimately, there are a lot of reasons why they succeed or fail in varying degrees. If yours isn’t 100% on track right now in achieving its objectives, and therefore its vision and mission, then it’s your responsibility to make decisions about what must be done to change that.
Starting off with delivering the 3 R’s for everyone in your organisation is a good start. You might be surprised at the difference it will make!
This article was written by David Mitchell, AIB Head of Student Engagement.