Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply share your latest company goals with employees and rest assured they would automatically achieve them without further ado?
Most of the time that doesn’t happen, though. Yes, your leadership does come in handy. But you have to know what you must bring to the table to catalyze employees to achieve those company goals. In fact, you must draw on 5 qualities to move your company goals forward:
1. Clear Intention
Clear intention is the ability to hone in on what you are really seeking to accomplish. By doing so, you create an unambiguous target for your company to shoot for. You can use the SMART Goals technique or some other goal-setting methodology. In any case, it’s your job as leader to ensure the goal is distinctive and well-defined. This allows anyone to easily recognize when the goal has been achieved.
2. Clear Communication
Research shows that 60% of employees don’t know about their companies’ strategic plan, including current goals. To counter this, once a goal is set, it’s your leadership responsibility to ensure it is disseminated and discussed throughout the company, so everyone can contribute to achieving it. Goals don’t achieve themselves; employees must act to make them come to fruition. So, make sure all employees know current goals and progress made along the way. Additionally, work with department heads to translate company-wide goals into meaningful and related sub-goals for each company area.
The employees who do the work know a lot about what works and what doesn’t. That’s why it’s imperative to be inclusive. Inclusion means you readily and willingly tap a variety of perspectives regarding what it will take to achieve the goal, including the employees who perform the work. When you tap into the perspectives of direct reports, they can suggest which work activities to leverage to affect the desired goal outcomes.
4. Unwavering Focus
It is said, “What is expected must be inspected.” In other words, keep the goal and related activities in front of employees. Make sure you do so with your direct reports, so this focus cascades to the front lines in your area of responsibility. You might hold a short weekly meeting focused on goal-related work activities and projects to check progress. Regularly display and discuss graphs tracking progress of related activities, sub-goals, and the overall goal. Whatever you do, keep employees focused on what they must do to achieve the goal and the progress being made. This allows adjustments to be made timely, as needed.
5. Recognition & Appreciation
If you’re like me you are probably used to a “no news is good news” approach in life. What we’ve learned, however, is that acknowledgement and appreciation go a long way with employees. Remember to recognize and appreciate individual effort, contributions, and progress toward sub-goals and the overall goal to keep employees engaged in the effort. Employees need to know you see their efforts.
If you’re like most leaders, you are distracted by a thousand different things that vie for your attention. It’s good to remember the simple leadership qualities that you must demonstrate to achieve your company goals. An intentional, inclusive focus on your goals, bolstered by clear communication and recognition of effort and progress is the basic job of any leader.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BLOG OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this information with it: Beth Strathman works with women in leadership who want to have more positive impact within their organizations by gaining great focus, self-awareness, and influence with their teams. Learn more at: firebrandconsultingllc.com.