by Tim Sieck, On Target Talent
Imagine for a moment what your ideal organization looked like. There will be many different variations of the exact details that flash through your mind, but there will be some common characteristics as well. I imagine it will be an organization where people are happy and anxious to come to work and contribute in a way that helps the company succeed. I also imagine managers and supervisors who are skilled not just in the job that they once held, but in coaching and developing employees to be their best.
This organization exists. Not only does it exist, it is easier to achieve than most people think. It has been my experience, and research supports this, that these things happen when organizations focus on a handful of critical process and behaviors. The critical few are outlined below.
- Defining high performance – This is most often accomplished through a set of competencies that establish who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. The mistake many people make is to create competency models that are so large and layered by organizational level that they start to lose their impact. Focus should be on the 8-12 competencies that are important for everyone to demonstrate.
- Focusing on employee development – By this I mean putting the development process in the hands of the employee and making them responsible for creating their own development plan.
- Holding managers accountable – Organizations that are really good hold managers accountable for the right things. Giving feedback, having development discussions, and setting expectations for performance. Management is not about simply doing more of the same. The nature of the work changes and the way managers are measured need to change as well.
- Communicating – From communicating the vision and mission of the company, to establishing and rolling out objectives, to giving regular and timely feedback, great organizations are typically great at communicating.
There are many others that make the list, but if you were building a new organization from the ground up, I would focus on these four first and foremost. After all, if you start with the right foundation, building a world-class organization becomes something that happens without much additional effort. People just instinctively know what needs to be done and they go about their work in a high performance way.
Tim Sieck is a princpal partner with On Target Talent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a professional services firm specializing in helping organizations assess, devlop, and retain key talent. He will be presenting at the 2015 IBA Human Resources Conference April 15-16.