Guest Post by S. Chris Edmonds
How do you gauge your team’s effectiveness? If you’re like most leaders, you monitor performance metrics closely. You have dashboards that show sales per week (or month or quarter), market share, packages shipped, services delivered, and the like. You also have others in your organization that pay close attention to performance metrics – and raise questions when targets are missed.
Performance is vitally important and deserves a leader’s attention. Equally important, though, is the degree of workplace inspiration – and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
If employees feel well cared for – treated consistently with trust, respect, and dignity – their commitment goes up. When their commitment goes up, they willingly apply discretionary energy; they use their skills in service to team goals and customers. They solve problems rather than just spotting them. They experience fun. They’re amazingly productive.
Most leaders would love employees to feel and behave in these ways. So, how does a leader craft workplace inspiration?
The leader has to “shake up the rules,” creating values expectations that are as clear and measurable as performance expectations.
Team members need clear, specific, measurable, and trackable performance expectations to understand what they’re “signed up” to deliver. Team members also need clear, specific, measurable and trackable values expectations to understand how they’re supposed to interact with others while they deliver expected performance.
To make desired values as specific, measurable, and trackable as performance, a leader must define those values in observable, tangible, behavioral terms.
Let’s look at a value of “honesty.” This is a very common value; lots of teams state they have honesty as a value. However, if honesty is not specifically defined, every player will see honestly differently. That creates angst and confusion – not clarity and confidence!
One client defined honesty with these three behaviors: “Tell the truth. Don’t lie, cheat, or steal. Don’t withhold information that can benefit the team, your peers, or our customers.” Are these three behaviors measurable? In other words, can team members rate their leaders or peers on the degree to which each of those players demonstrates these valued behaviors? Absolutely.
There is no confusion about what this team’s honesty value means. With these clear valued behaviors, leaders can model these behaviors, coach these behaviors, redirect mis-aligned behaviors, and celebrate aligned behaviors – every day.
Make values as important as performance with specific, measurable, and trackable valued behaviors.
S. Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. After a 15-year career leading and managing teams, Chris began his consulting company in 1990. Since 1995, Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies. Chris provides high-impact keynotes, executive briefings, and executive consulting. He is the author of six books, including Leading At A Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn how to craft workplace inspiration with an organizational constitution in Chris’ new book, The Culture Engine, which launches on September 29, 2014. His blog, podcasts, free assessments, research, and videos can be found at The Purposeful Culture Group.