The recruitment process is rigorous. From crafting the perfect job description, to shortlisting and interviewing promising applicants, to inviting the stand-out candidate to climb aboard, everything is geared towards finding the one person who’ll bring something great to your organisation.
But what looks like the spark of a promising relationship can fizzle into bad time-keeping, long-forgotten deadlines, and missed targets. Finding the right person for the job is never taken lightly, so why does ‘the one’ start to look like a bad match?
Mind reading hasn’t featured in any job specifications I’ve seen lately, but recent research from Gallup revealed that half of the workforce doesn’t have a clear understanding of what’s being asked of it – and this prevents workers from achieving their full potential. Gallup suggests that, to make sure that every employee knows what their goals are, how to achieve them and why, managers should focus on the three “A’s”:
Managers must be clear about what is expected of their team, setting distinct goals that are easy to understand and work towards.
Once goals have been set, managers should keep track of their employee’s progress, checking in regularly and giving feedback at each stage of the project.
To inspire their team members towards meeting goals, managers should be available to lend support when it’s needed; staying approachable, responsive and helping employees jump whichever hurdles appear in their path.
By focusing on these three factors, a manager can build a team that understands its responsibilities. A team that knows what part it has to play in helping the wider organisation achieve its goals. A team that’s engaged.
Staff engagement is important. People who are engaged cooperate and collaborate – they see their importance to the success of their organisation and offer more, taking pride in what they do. Engaged employees understand the challenges their organisation faces. And they can offer creative, original, unconventional – even groundbreaking – ideas and put them in action.
Workers who understand what they do and why they do it, care about what they do. And people who care about what they do can help others care, too. The passion for what they sell or do is clear to potential customers and colleagues: it instils confidence in the products they offer and inspires enthusiasm in others. Not only can this have a positive effect on sales, but it also goes on to strengthen working relationships and improve the team’s performance.
Regular, in-depth reviews help organisations focus on the three “A’s”, and develop the skills of their people; setting out clear goals and enhancing strengths that align with the company’s vision. Goal reviews are an effective way to get a complete view of each team member: getting their take on their role, the areas of their performance that make them proud and where they need support, as well as how they fit in with the rest of the team.
Done well they encourage honesty and openness about areas of weakness and ways to develop and improve. They create opportunities to strengthen relationships between managers and their team by laying out a clear career path and reinforcing progress through regular, direct feedback. Coupled with 360 degree feedback, reviews give managers the full picture: a clear view of how each employee performs against organisational and business values.