Why spend precious time setting objectives for the people in your business? Surely, your bright, motivated colleagues know intuitively what needs to be done when?
Research shows that on average people in all organisations, small and large, spend 40 % of their working day on the wrong thing. Doh! Put another way, a person working a 40-hour week need not come into work until late afternoon on Tuesday! Worse, time spent on the wrong things is not only wasted effort but generates frustration and complaints from both customers and staff alike.
So, what’s the solution? It’s certainly NOT to be found in forms, processes, checklists and long meetings agreeing extensive lists of objectives, barely looked at until the 6 month review is due.
Best practice from highly capable leaders shows simple is best and less is more:
- Agree 4 to 6 key objectives focused on the next 3 months. Any more just distract focus on delivery.
- Short sharp regular reviews - Plans change so build in frequent conversations to make objectives change too. 10-minutes on the phone is fine if face to face isn’t practical.
- Listen to what the people in your business tell you. They know best what the client wants, where profit is lost and the best way to get the important things done. Fix your objectives around maximising these things.
- Match people skills and preferences with the objective setting. Whilst it’s important to stretch and develop people it’s more important to maximise performance too – that’s what keeps business running after all! Put the objective in a wider context.
- Paint the big picture - 99% of people want to make a difference at work and see their company progress so help them to see why what they do is vital to the whole enterprises success.
If you put these simple suggestions into practice you wont be one of those organisations wasting 40% of resources on doing the wrong thing!