Employees want to add value… so let them!

Is your team clear on what they need to do and why? And if not, how do you think that’s impacting your bottom line? Maybe it’s time to wipe the canvas clean, assess current-state versus desired-state and get everyone on the same page.  

Many times I’ve come across teams or people doing tasks simply because they were asked to (sometimes years ago!) and no one has told them the task is no longer required so of course they keep doing it.

It’s a pretty safe bet that you can think of an instance like this… maybe a report gets manually entered, generated or printed – but the data, process or outcome has changed over time and it’s no longer adding value or needs to be updated to truly be meaningful.

Or maybe a role in your team remains only because the person occupying the role is a valued member of the team and you don’t want to lose them… even though the tasks they complete, no matter how competently, are getting surpassed by technological advances or other change initiatives.

Guess what… employees want to be adding value! They strive to do a good job and produce meaningful work. If they’re not adding the value you think they could be – maybe it’s time for a clarity session. Going back to the drawing board and identifying expectations, accountability, change management, and aligning to the bigger picture – your company’s strategy, mission and purpose.

This is NOT about finding cost synergies and downsizing, making people ‘do more with less’. This is about going through an important exercise in order to increase productivity, efficiency and engagement. It’s about identifying and playing to people’s strengths – setting people (and the team) up to succeed.

By having clarity around their role in a team and ultimately the organisation – your employees can be empowered, proactive and assess if what they’re doing is actually adding value. So let’s embrace a continuous improvement mentality … as a manager you can have a go at this yourself, or you can get someone (cough, cough, maybe me) in to run the sessions from a non-biased perspective.

Initiating a discussion is a good way to get the ball rolling. But it needs structure and guidance if it’s going to be successful. I’ve got a number of tools and templates to guide this process and keep it on track. Also, you can focus on your job as a leader, as well as being a willing participant (this can be a time-consuming process if you’re not familiar with it). 

A clarity coaching session guides you and your team through a people-friendly approach to establishing or restructuring tasks, roles or functions. It can (and should) be delivered in a non-confrontational, non-threatening manner and focuses on growth, development and contributing to the achievement of the team and organisations’ wider strategy.

See how this could be of benefit to you and your team? Connect today to find out more.

Why I focus on new and emerging leaders

How often do we see managers promoted into positions because they’re technical experts, only to realise they don’t have the people management skills to lead a team… yet.

I love seeing organisations supporting vulnerable green shoots into loyal managers who know you care enough about them to invest in their future. To provide them with some of the basic navigation tools to best position them (and the organisation) for success.

I respect those companies who foster and grow talent from within, building and nurturing a culture of learning, growth and development. Giving confidence where it’s found the least and means the most.

Why focus all our efforts on high performers who are already doing great things and are more likely to walk out your door at any given moment (we’ll have that debate another day). By focusing on new and emerging leaders, you’re accelerating a connected, positive crew of devoted organisational champions. In turn setting an example of how you want your company culture defined and practised.

This is a powerful tool because this group of individuals, supervisors, team leaders, etc, usually has direct contact with a large portion of your workforce – like operations or customer service teams. A powerful position to be in when you think of company culture as “the way we actually do things around here” … not the words written in your induction manuals or intranet.

I love working with green shoots, those who show real promise of great leadership if only given the opportunity – because their potential is off the charts!  In my experience they’re open to and absorb learning and development at a great rate because they don’t have to hide their vulnerability – in fact, it’s pretty much expected.  And they welcome, no – thrive on building their tool-box of knowledge, tips and tricks.

Wouldn’t you rather define your organisation’s culture through design, rather than default?