Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Take the LSA Global free and confidential 15-minute Alignment Survey at http://www.lsaglobal.com/alignment-survey. In addition to receiving key business insight, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card.
Here’s an interesting question to ask everyone on your team: “How is your success measured?”
Actually, this is more than just an interesting question; asking it is a crucial practice you need to implement as a leader. Why? When you hear people’s answers, you’ll probably spot a disconnect right away.
For example, when we ask thousands of people how their success is measured, we typically hear, “That’s a good question. Let me think about that.” Then they ramble for five minutes about what they think they’re supposed to accomplish, for whom, and why. By the time they’ve finished talking, it is obvious that their performance expectations have not been well articulated or are not clearly understood.
In other words, most people have no idea how their success is truly measured at work.
This is an important consideration for leaders, because a keen focus and the accomplishment of important, everyday activities are what constitute success or failure on a larger scale. If you want to push your company in a specific direction, employees must know clearly what constitutes success and failure. Only then can they effectively align and prioritize their everyday activities and long-term projects to the business strategy.
So ideally, when you ask this question, you want to hear a very clear answer, complete with specific metrics, milestones, and stakeholders. For example, an aligned employee could say, “My boss measures my success based upon client renewals and deal size. My target is four to five renewals of greater than $100,000 per month. Failure is fewer than four renewals a month or less than $100,000 in deal size.”
That’s a very clear answer with well-defined metrics for both failure (what to avoid) and success (what to strive for). Here are four key benefits of clear, accurate, fair, and consistent business success metrics:
1) Employees don’t drift and/or invest in activities that will benefit only them and not the organization.
2) Coaching and “checking-in” conversations between employees and managers are more focused, and everyone is on the same page.
3) It’s easier to identify and retain top performers and support or move out underperformers.
4) Leaders have an early-warning system when ground-level teams are going off track, and they also quickly see what’s working well.
Companies perform better when their strategy, talent, and culture are aligned by clear measures of success. Conflicts are reduced, job satisfaction improves, problems are resolved faster, and results increase. When your employees aren’t sure how they’re being measured, that’s a critical sign of misalignment.
You can help your company today by getting personalized insight into how the alignment of strategy, culture, and talent impact performance. Take our free and confidential 15-minute Alignment Survey at http://www.lsaglobal.com/alignment-survey. In addition to receiving key business insight, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card.