How to Ensure Your Business Takes Full Advantage of Your People’s Potential

Business Takes Full Advantage of Your People’s Potential

No matter how incredible your product, service, or technology, you need people to truly be successful in your industry. But in a post-pandemic world, organizations are coming head to head with new challenges. 

Motivating teams to do their best work requires consistent effort, especially as more generations are working alongside one another. Add in the complexity of distributed workforces and changing employee engagement expectations, and leaders may find themselves in a bind. Get ahead of the curve and develop an enterprise-wide approach to maximizing the potential of each of your employees. 

1. Connect Each Role With Your Strategy

Your employees joined your organization for a reason. Maybe it was a skills match, growth opportunity, or compensation target. Whatever the case, getting talent on board is only the beginning. Ensuring your team is doing its best work can be the difference between a great year and a disastrous one. 

For your team to bring their best to the job each day, they need to understand how their role plays a part. Without knowing how their contribution makes an impact, they’re left to interpret what’s important and what’s not. That can make your people feel more unappreciated and unmotivated with each passing day. 

Assess your organization’s various roles and connect their work portfolio with your organization’s overall strategy. Clarify with each team member how and why their work matters as you pursue a shared set of goals. Have an open discussion, first listening to your colleagues on what they think their role means for the whole organization. Then share new insights, acknowledge what they shared with you, and correct any misinformation.

Ensuring strategy alignment within job functions can provide much-needed clarity for your team members. When they understand their “why,” they can focus on contributing to your organization’s shared vision. 

2. Communicate Expectations and Assignments Clearly

A lack of clarity breeds frustration at work and in one’s personal life. Without a clear understanding of expectations and deliverables, problems emerge, creating ripples that are hard to calm. If you want the best out of your people, you owe it to them to be clear and consistent. 

For example, if your organization states deadlines but doesn’t enforce them, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. With each deadline missed, you’re sending a signal that they don’t matter or are optional. Soon, a missed deadline will prove detrimental, and you’re left with a culture that can’t deliver on time.  

Combat a lack of clarity by establishing a structure for goal setting and communicating assignments. Tools can help get you started and even automate certain processes. But don’t skimp on the training, especially when introducing a technology that will significantly change established workflows. 

Share how your team will use these tools to improve productivity and reinforce deadlines. Partner with your internal communications team to craft key messages so they’re effective and shared in the right channels. Treat this change with care and consideration, bringing in the right leadership and staff-level advocates for its deployment. Once it’s in full effect, your team will be better equipped to take on their day, confident in their end goals. 

3. Create a Culture of Feedback

Annual reviews can be a time of anticipation, even though the weeks leading up to them are full of stress. Top performers do the same stress dance, even if their results from the past year speak for themselves. Why is this intensity so commonplace? Because in many work cultures, team members only get pointed feedback once a year during their reviews.

Whether it’s a casualty of old leadership styles or conflict avoidance, it’s a cultural issue that must stop. Missed opportunities for feedback, both positive and corrective, can allow issues to fester to the point of no return. Without immediate feedback, your team members can get months into a project that later has to be scrapped. 

Avoid organizational inefficiencies and performance issues by creating a culture of frequent feedback. First, you’ll need to identify what feedback is and train your management team on how to use it. When reviews tied to merit increases or promotion-track milestones are your norm, this process may take time. Partner with a qualified consultant to help your human resources team conduct this important training. 

Build a reinforcement plan for any changes you make, including feedback culture as a check-in item for your managers’ meetings. By normalizing the giving and receiving of feedback, individuals will begin to pick up the habit. In project meetings, colleagues may acknowledge shared successes but also bring up challenges. In ideal situations, the group will have a candid discussion about what went awry and how to improve moving forward. When your team members buy into a culture of feedback, they and your organization will improve each day. 

Reinforce Your Efforts for the Long Haul

When you conduct a major project or initiative, it’s easy to celebrate its completion. However, the success of any effort hinges on the ability of its results to last once the glow has worn off. Establish a reinforcement plan with each of the tactics you deploy. 

Monitor and assess the changes you’ve implemented much like you would an active project. When you do, you’ll see warning signs quickly, giving you plenty of time to adjust and correct. Together with your engaged leadership, your optimized team will be putting their best foot forward. Through strategy alignment, clear communication, frequent feedback, and the right processes, your people can perform at their highest potential. 

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