The success of your business is directly related to commitment and productivity of people who work in your business. And yet it is generally recognized that 60% of employees, or more, are underutilized in their roles at work.
So what are factors that contribute to low performance standards and expectations?
Communication, or mis-communciation, is one of major sources of low productivity. The messages that move between owner, employees, managers and even customers are not understood in same way. One classic example is that business owners tend to assume that employees and managers see things same way they do.
Managers tend to lower their expectations (unconsciously) so that they will not have to confront employees. Most people dislike discussing declining performance with their employees, and so actively avoid having to do so by reducing heir expectations of what’s required.
Employees have a tendency to protect themselves from possible failure by pushing back on what is expected. They will often negotiate/bargain job down to a more comfortable level.
Business owners often have difficulty separating what they want done from how they want it done. Telling employees exactly how to achieve a certain goal leaves no room for employee to think or use their own initiative. Consequently they often stop trying to contribute and become ‘sheep” – just doing what they are told. In this catch-22 situation, owner is forced into a position where they must constantly be telling everyone exactly what to do.
Some owners may not understand concept of person/job matching, and so have wrong people in wrong positions. This situation can be extremely demotivating for employee.
So how do you go about setting performance standards and expectations?
The owner and employee must collaborate together. They must work together on fact that role employee is performing can be improved in a way where everybody wins - employee, owner, and business. When you teach owner to collaborate with employee, not only does performance go up, but so does morale.
Short term goals, or wins, must be established. 90-days is ideal. Set specific goals for employee in 90-day increments so that there will be ample opportunity to monitor systems and progress, as well as to experience wins on a routine basis. Ideally, involve employee in this goal setting process so they experience some control over their work.
Determine strengths required to do job well. If employee is going to be successful, owner and employee must decide jointly what strengths are required, and how employee is going to be able to apply their strengths. This is where having a good match between employee and job is so important. The boss doesn't have to figure this out on their own - employee will probably already know what's necessary.