Friday, April 29, 2011

5 Steps to Make Sure Your Employees Succeed

For companies to achieve, employees must achieve.  The steps to employee success are similar to those of anyone’s success.  However, just as we don’t always take necessary action to reach our goals in other environments, so we don’t always in the workplace.  Here are five crucial steps to help your employees truly perform.  By setting them up for success, you’re setting yourself and your company up for success as well.

1. Make sure your employees understand exactly how their jobs affects the bigger picture for the company.  If they can’t see the big picture, where’s their sense of accomplishment and fulfillment?  These days employees often participate in one very narrow step towards completing the larger company goal.  So it’s crucial you make the connection between their daily duties and the overall mission on a frequent basis.  Keep them up to date on progress from a micro and macro perspective.

2. Create a strategy with employees to reach those goals.  Every goal must have a strategy.   Within a company, there are two levels of strategy: the shared company strategy with rules every employee follows, and the individual strategy tailored to each particular employee’s task, work style, and abilities. Depending on the particular employee, you may have a larger or smaller role in helping that employee develop their personal strategy.

3. Find out what kind of feedback works best for each employee and then provide it, consistently.  Some employees need more frequent feedback, good or bad.  How hard working or successful each employee is has little to do with which feedback style he prefers.  Feedback is a crucial part of communication in any relationship, and obviously including working relationships.

4. Tie personal goals in with company goals.  Let’s face it; your employee isn’t solely working for you and your company.  He has his own goals and milestones he hopes to achieve at his job.  Taking the time to understand these goals builds a strong professional and personal bond between you and your employee.  Understanding these personal goals will also help you communicate, create incentives, and work together better.  For example, John may truly care that your company meets its quarterly sales goals.  But he also has a personal goal of improving his people skills.  If you understand his goal, you will understand how to motivate and relate to John, and leverage both sources of drive to reach your goals.

5. Handle failure.  Work with your employee to figure out the reason he/you didn’t meet his/your goals.  Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, do what you can to fix it, or move on with a revised strategy to ensure success the next go round.  You show your employee more respect by considering him worthy of holding accountable, rather than ignoring the failure and treating him as a lost cause.

What steps do you take to ensure your employees’ success?


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