Workplace Relationships
Productivity through people
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How to Get More Results Out of Your Employees This New Financial Year!

Have you set up your plans for this financial year?

Have you set your company some goals, revenue targets, department budgets and considered the tracking of the company against your long term targets?

Most importantly… have you done all of this in consultation with your team, your people, your employees?

Gaining alignment from the people who are required to reach these goals and targets within the desired budget is essential if you actually want to to get there!

“Human Resource systems, designed to provide clear objectives for employees do not typically align to Strategy… Only 7% of U.S. Line Employees (and 3% in the U.K.) had their personal goals linked to Strategy” - Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, The Strategy Focused Organisation, Harvard Business School Press.

I’m suggesting though, that we don’t just have a presentation from the CEO or ‘boss’ saying these are your targets now go get ‘em! Instead, go back to basics…go back the vision and mission of the company and remind everyone what you are about!

Employees need to be able to see how their particular job fits into this bigger picture. Understanding and feeling their contribution to the company overall will increase employee engagement, effectiveness and productivity. It helps speed in decision making, “Is this in line with our Strategic Goals?”. It will increase job satisfaction and aide prioritising and self-governance.

Once the over-arching company goals are decided, each team or department needs to recognise their role in the process of achieving them.

If we are to achieve X in 3 months, Y in 6 months and Z in 12 months what are the impacts for this team? Where are our strengths, and where might we need support or allocate extra resources?

Of course, then you need to consider the individual’s role within the team and collaborate to create individual goals that inspire and engage the employee while being aligned to the company’s vision and direction. Only thinking about ensuring the employee is able to fulfil the latest project or their role for the next 12 months is not productive to the longer term needs of either the individual or the company! When discussing training needs, the longer term aspirations, objectives and the employee’s personal agenda should also be considered alongside an awareness of the company’s plans for role succession or employee advancement.

Alignment builds a company where everyone in the company is pulling in the same direction - which in itself, grows into creating a dynamic culture!

But what if it’s not good news?

Then the sharing is arguably even more critical. Rather than leaving the ‘grapevine’ to feed down, it’s version of events, being up front and as honest as you’re able is always the best strategy. Talking to your employees or team and explaining that due to X we are going to be making changes around X. While it can leave leadership feeling vulnerable, a ‘cards on the table’ approach can actually have employees rallying around…but that requires an already robust culture based on trust and respect.

In conclusion, if the strategic plan has been decided, ensure you’ve decided how that will be shared and how you will build alignment with the people delivering on the plan - if they know the destination the team are far more likely to get there, with fewer detours and distractions!

Jo O’Donovan is the founder of Workplace Relationships, based in Melbourne. She works with companies to increase their productivity through focusing on their culture, people and relationships. Jo has a particular passion for improving the mental health of employees through developing the human connections within organisations and her new online course on Mental Health In The Workplace can be accessed here.

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Jo O'Donovan