(This is part 3 of a 6-part series about the T.R.U.S.T. Leadership Model)
Transparency. Results, Understanding, Simplify, Team
When discussing “results”, the focus should not be solely on “end-results”. In fact, doing so can damage morale and negatively affect engagement. Equally as important, a lack of checking in on milestone results along the way, can lead to project failure. There is tremendous value to setting milestone goals along the way to achieving the desired final-results, not the least of which is motivation. Here are 3 steps to get the results you need and the necessary investment with each:
Start Engaging Your Team From the Outset
It is critically important to have everyone focused on the same goal(s) and to be single-minded in attaining them. The best way to achieve this is by getting the team involved early in the planning process. The people doing the work often have insights that the leaders of the organization may not have. Taking this approach allows the leader to clearly explain the reason for the goal and to begin engaging the team by including their input in the plan.
Investment… all it takes is commitment by leadership to do this in an authentic and meaningful way.
Set Milestones Along the Way
This should be addressed from an individual and team perspective. Depending on the level of importance of the goal, regularly scheduled team and one-on-one meetings should be conducted. These will give the leader the opportunity to check in along the way and to offer support, guidance, and encouragement. It also will ensure that the individuals stay on track or the leader can advise adjustments if necessary. If you wait until the due date for the goal, then it’s too late to adjust and chances of missing the deadline and not achieving the desired outcome increases. Additionally, less-frequently scheduled team meetings should be conducted to keep everyone informed of the progress being made. Each team or individual should have the opportunity to present their work as a further way to increase understanding of how they fit into the whole and to build on the sense of ownership and engagement.
Investment: Great communication doesn’t cost anything. It’s a matter of commitment and the investment of time upfront, and throughout the process, will reduce the risk of wasting time that comes from waiting until the end to find out things are not on track.
Debrief and Celebrate
Every project has successful aspects that should be repeated with future projects and they also have learning opportunities as well. Once again, individual and team involvement in the review process will improve engagement and increase a sense of ownership throughout the ranks of the organization. The “celebration” can include no to low-cost things such as recognition of individuals to the greater organization through company-wide communications, allowing for chosen representation to present individual or team findings to the larger group and/or a small “catered” event for the team.
Investment – As noted above, there doesn’t have to be a financial cost to this aspect of the process. Recognition is often reward enough, but even small rewards from gift cards to additional PTO days will do the trick.
There are many ways to get the outcomes you need, but getting long-term results, that comes from engaged, committed employees can only come when there is an organizational commitment to TRUST and the proper focus on results is one step to get you there.