13 Oct Finding happiness at work – through creating purpose and meaning
How are most organizations doing when it comes to managing the performance of people in their companies? Not very well, according to Dr. Vicki Halsey of The Ken Blanchard Companies. In talking with managers and direct reports over the past year, Halsey has heard a lot of frustration with the process of leading others.
As she explains, _ã–Managers are upset because their people aren’t doing what they think they should do. Direct reports are upset because they are not getting the direction that they need._ã
Part of the problem comes from confusing competence with commitment, according to Halsey.
_ã–When I ask managers what they most want from their people, I hear things like, _ãÄI want them to have a positive attitude. I want them to communicate better. I want them to be more of a team player._ã_
_ã–So, managers are thinking about the traits that they would like their employees to exhibit, instead of the actions they would like them to be taking._ã
That_ã_s a challenge, according to Halsey, who points out that managing performance means identifying the goals that you are looking for from that teamwork, from that better attitude, etc. In Halsey_ã_s experience, managers are not being clear enough with their direct reports about what they are supposed to do in terms of the specific tasks and goals. Managers may have a gut instinct about what they want their people doing, but they are not communicating it clearly to their people.
Without a clear sense of what to do and how to rank and accomplish their most important tasks, employees are left on their own to prioritize their work. But if people aren’t clear on what they are supposed to be doing, they won_ã_t be as successful as they could be. They will be involved in a lot of activity, but the activity will not necessarily be in line with the organization_ã_s overall goals.
That_ã_s when morale problems arise. To feel important and valued, people have to see the alignment between their day-to-day work and what the organization is looking to achieve.
Managers are mistaking an employee_ã_s need for direction and support as a lack of engagement. That incorrect diagnosis is leading managers to the mistaken belief that if they get their direct reports more fired up, they’ll get the work done. The real problem is that people want to know what their role is and how they are supposed to do it.
This leads to a _ã–where do you start_ã situation with people wanting more communication and clarity about how their work aligns with overall organizational goals while managers are expecting people to know what to do and believing that if they can just encourage folks to be more positive and have a better attitude, they will figure out the rest on their own.
To read the full article, and find more happiness in your work – click here