Getting the most from your team

chinese-whispersWhen the Board or senior management team establish the corporate objectives that’s only the start of the journey to achievement. Unfortunately, the journey often stops soon after that, simply because the communication process isn’t geared to success.

What am I talking about? Getting the message from the top of the organisation to the front line where the action is – in terms that are understood by each layer. It’s not enough to tell the functional managers “Here are our new company objectives,” (or email them), but that’s often what happens. To get better results the message needs to be extended: “… and to help us to achieve these, we’d like your department to be responsible for doing this … and getting these outcomes … by this date …”

That’s just the beginning, because the functional manager now needs to break these departmental goals down into targets for each part of the department – and ‘translate’ them for his or her managers and supervisors. Then they’ll need to review what their team members are doing and assess whether the current skill sets are right for the achievement of the outcomes that each person needs to deliver. That means looking at job descriptions, role profiles or competencies and perhaps making some adjustments, sending some people on training or providing coaching to get them up to the required level.

What often happens is that the functional manager reads the new objectives and ‘files’ them. It’s rare that the front line personnel are even involved in any kind of discussion in what is expected of them. Consequently, they usually just carry on doing what they’ve always done – which isn’t likely to deliver different results.

So how is well do the lines of communication work in your organisation? Remember involvement creates commitment – if your team know what you’re trying to achieve they are much more likely to make better decisions, make creative suggestions and be more motivated when they can see the objectives clearly.

Written by Lesley Morrissey

Lesley Morrissey

I’ve written since I was at Primary School and achieved ‘fame’ by having a poem read on the BBC Schools programme at the age of 9! Since then I’ve written features for newspapers and magazines and, this century, commercial copy for businesses big and small.

The aim is to persuade my client’s target audience to take action so copy needs not only to be in their ‘voice’, but also to be written for the reader full of juicy benefits.

In other lives I’ve been a training manager, an HR manager, a quality director and a speaker.

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