For those of us who have and are leading teams/ managing people, we know only too well just how rewarding and how challenging this can be.
People inherently want to do a great job, add value and receive recognition … simple then to achieve success through people… you would think?
As business owners and as someone who has led large teams and businesses, I know only too well that this is not only the SINGLE LARGEST CHALLENGE but similarly the MOST CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS.
We are very privileged to work with a large range of businesses, from small to large and across a multitude of sectors, however regardless of their differences, the challenges we are discussing in this blog are pertinent and seen in facets of almost every business, to some extent.
More often than not, Managers will be doing their very best and have good intent and it is often down to the following factors that they struggle to gain traction with building a high performing and results driven team:
- Managers have been promoted based on technical competency and expertise/ organically vs on their natural attributes, potential and ability to manage/lead people
- Managers have not been provided with the tools/ coaching and support/mentorship to advance their leadership skills/ have failed to assess areas that require attention in self development.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO MANAGE OUTCOMES/RESULTS VS ACTIVITY?
Have you ever heard the same people in the workplace say ‘I am so busy?’ have you ever noticed that this does not always correspond with their success/achievements and contribution?
In all the teams that I have managed, my highest achievers never stated how busy they were and merely spoke about what else they needed to achieve/ desired outcomes and how they were going to get to their desired result.
Just because someone is first in the office and last out, is not an indicator of their contribution/ROI or how successful they will be and in fact this often raises questions for me about their self management and is a cause for intervention.
Think of how you like to be managed and how it feels to receive feedback around your activity, lack of or inability to meet these expectations. Now conversely – take a moment to be presented with the facts/ objective and agreed outcomes and how you have / have not achieved these?
There is a subtle but very important distinction here…
One is about what effort you have put in and receiving feedback about not achieving based on the belief that your effort was not acceptable is really personal and feels bad. However discussing and managing people against agreed objectives and results is objective, factual and not deemed as a personal attack.
An individual may be putting in exceptional energy and effort, with the desire to be successful, however may still fail to achieve desired results if they are not clear on objectives, do not have the skills/ support to achieve these or in some instances are not playing to their strengths and potentially being set up to fail, as a result.
THE JOURNEY & HOW TO MANAGE FOR OUTCOMES/ RESULTS:
Great leaders understand that their ability to clearly communicate a compelling vision, make the complex simple – to provide clear and measurable goals and the road map to achieve these is an art and absolutely critical to achieve success and build high performing, engaged and results driven teams.
What: SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time based
Why: The specific benefits – for the individual, company, colleagues and customers – of achieving the goals.
How: Tactical strategy, activities and road map to achieve these
Who: The individual’s role and other’s roles in achieving these, including collaboration expectations
When: What specifics must be delivered and by when, with clear timing and milestones in place
Ensure goals and outcomes are discussed, mutually agreed and documented and that celebratory milestones and acknowledgements are in place. Access to open dialogue and support (provided by leaders) will ensure that any perceived challenges in achieving planned outcomes, are discussed at the earliest opportunity and challenge and support are provided to overcome barriers along the way.
SELF REFLECTION & READINESS TO MANAGE OUTCOMES FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE:
- Do your team understand what they need to achieve and are held accountable? Have they discussed and agreed results/ outcomes with you? Do you refer back to these, follow through and hold your people accountable for achieving these results? If the answer is no then it is critical you go back to square one. Without clarity, true engagement and ownership for their results and the knowledge that there is review and accountability – you will not see the benefits or results.
- Are you measuring how an individual or team get to a result?If the answer is yes, then you are measuring activity and not an outcome. Remember that how someone achieves the result is generally not important and it is the end result that counts.
- Is it measurable?Is there a clearly defined outcome and is this linked to the bottom line?
BENEFITS OF OUTCOMES BASED MANAGEMENT:
- A more highly engaged team, that feels empowered, not micro managed and take ownerships for the end results
- Allows people to get to results in their own way and using their unique strengths vs attempting to do this the way they perceive you want them to get there and this is often much more successful and forfilling for the individual.
- Supports objective and non personal feedback processes and management where outcomes are not met and allows the individual/team to accept and own feedback and take responsibility for finding solutions and learnings that support future success.
While distinguishing the difference between managing activity and managing outcomes can be challenging, it is critical for managers to master this and for leaders to invest in ensuring managers are supported to do so.
These simple steps will ensure that your business has engaged and high performing teams, with people who take ownership for their role, understand what success looks like and how to achieve this and that you bottom line ROI is healthy and growing.
For further advice around attracting high performing talent, building results driven and engaged teams speak to Fusion Partners and we will be delighted to support your journey.