As we move away from the uncertainty and disruption of 2020, there is tepid optimism that somehow 2021 will be better.
As business leaders look to increase the level of clarity and confidence in their organization, getting a better understanding of internal obstacles is a good place to start.
In my experience working with entrepreneurial business leaders, there is often frustration with what seems to be a disconnect between the organization’s objectives and the way employees sometimes approach their work.
Notwithstanding sincere attempts to codify what I call the “Four P’s” (policy, protocol, procedure, and process) serious gaps in understanding and execution remain. Often overcome, sometimes ignored, these irritants become an accepted part of organizational life. The result is often a waste of time, energy, and resources which, over time can frustrate and demoralize employees. What to do?
Here’s a suggestion. Try asking your employees these five key questions.
I could do my job better if:
I didn't have to ___________________.
I knew more about ___________________.
I got more cooperation from ___________________.
I had the authority to ___________________.
I wasn't worried about ___________________.
There are of course many more questions you can ask, but just to get things rolling, begin with these. You may want to start with your management team, then move to the rest of your employees.
Organize the responses and look for common areas of concern. Bring team members together to talk through these issues and find ways to pro-actively address them.
Don’t be surprised if you find that some of the things that are getting in the way can be addressed quickly and with little effort, cost, or time.
The impact of this approach can be dramatic. Many companies I’ve worked with report that their employees felt a great sense of satisfaction in being asked, and even more from being part of the solution.
For other tips on increasing clarity and confidence by engaging employees, let’s set up a brief call.