The best way to get people to do want you want done is helping them see what is in it for them. One way to do this is to give people the pride of ownership in their work. When that happens, they own and take pride in results and they feel accountability for getting it right and they take responsibility when it is not right.
If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results? You may have given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives but that does not ensure success.
The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches to giving an employee an assignment.
Let’s say that you have a project the needs to be completed. You could give your employee a complete set of instructions detailing what you want done, how you want it to be done, and specific steps you want taken to get it done. You follow up to see that each step is completed as prescribed. Although it is important to communicate with your employee this type of micromanaging is detrimental to your employee’s progress. He or she is thinking I don’t know the purpose, but this is what the boss wants. I will do as I am told. This stifles creativity and discourages the employee from taking ownership. According to Gallop, one of the major motivators for employees is the belief that their opinions count. Did you ever ask for your employee’s opinion? Well, you would first have to tell them the mission and goal.
Now let’s try another approach. You tell your employee that you have a special project and that you would like him or her to take charge. You explain the nature and purpose of the project and the goal. You offer suggestions on the process, but you stress that you are looking for his or her suggestions in the process. Let your employee know that modifications may be made if the general goal is met. Ask if there are any questions about the goals. Then cut the employee loose to come up with an action plan and intermediate goals for obtaining the project goal. Open show your employee your confidence and support.
You have engaged your employee in the second approach. He or she knows that his or her opinion counts and that you have confidence in the employee. You have given the employee ownership of the project and you can hold him or her accountable for results. Empowering your employees encourage them to take ownership and be accountable for their results.
Before you get discouraged with your staff’s performance make sure that your leadership encourages them to take ownership and be accountable.
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