Dear Manager/Supervisor: Want to find out what your people say are the biggest problems they have in getting their jobs done properly? Here’s how.
About Laurie Ford
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Entries by Laurie Ford
Sometimes people get resigned about where they find themselves in their work or their life. (Been there!) It’s good to find a way to have some new conversations with people who can offer a new perspective, or a new access to another approach, another path. Communication is the key.
Procrastinating on our unfinished chores and projects is natural. Maintaining an effective “Results Wanted” list – and doing the work to check things off that list – isn’t hard either. But we sometimes forget that’s what it takes to get some things done.
We complain at work about scarce resources, or a lack of accountability, but the same conversation can fix both of those problems. It also helps – a lot – if you can clarify the difference between doing work and delivering results. (And it’s a big difference!)
We specify our work goals, and our intended results, and (sometimes) remember to give solid deadlines. But we often forget an important piece of our work specifications: the collaborators, resource-providers, authorities, and beneficiaries of our productive work.
Specifying “by when” you’ll get back to someone is an easy way to give people confidence in you. You may have to check your calendar to do that, but it’s a small task that benefits you as well as the people around you.
Sometimes there is no well-defined communication pathway between the Top and the Bottom of an organization. That means communications go only part of the way up or down, getting stuck in the trees or in ditches. It helps to have a way to find out what the barriers to effectiveness are at lower levels. That way you can hear what is needed.
Accountability is a valuable asset in any relationship, whether at work or at home. But it is not a personality trait or an inherited part of our character. It is a function of communication. I just never knew how specific that gets!
People, assignments, resources – lots of things show up late. We can do something to turn it around, or, if not, lateness will become a cultural fixture.
On-the-job training should focus first on what people will be accountable for producing and/or delivering. You can add the secondary matters of importance after they are clear about what counts most.