“In the Florida State University study, less than 20 percent of employees are certain they know what is expected of them at work each day, with the majority reporting varying levels of clarity concerning responsibilities, ranging from ‘some’ to ‘complete’ ambiguity.” (See more at Business News Daily.)
What an amazing statement! Put another way, over 80 percent of people don’t really know what their jobs are—what they are supposed to produce to be successful. How can that be? Have leaders simply not told them? Or could it be that the jobs have never been documented in an understandable way?
Or maybe the reason doesn’t really matter. The fact that the situation exists at all should be enough to spur us into action. And the action needed is to document, explain, and then reinforce exactly what is expected from each person in his or her job.
Document. What is the job? What are the outcomes that should be produced? How often should they be produced and to what standard? What tools, information, and relationships should be used to produce those outcomes?
Explain. Clarify, not just by handing someone a vague job description but by sitting down and discussing each outcome in sufficient detail that each performer understands it and is able to start working toward success.
Reinforce. Conduct frequent, regular coaching sessions designed to help each person produce each outcome to standard. Or course, this means each outcome should contain objective and measurable standards that both the performer and his or her manager can use to gauge success.
Document, explain, reinforce. Three simple steps you can take immediately to improve your teams’ results.
Questions to ponder:
- Do your people really know their jobs? How can you be certain?