Business Coaching Blog
Systemisation: Raise your employees’ horizons
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Wrapping up a meeting with one of my business coaching clients today provided one of those moments of insight. We had spent an hour working on employee performance management and delegation and were chatting about things outside work. My client was describing the problems he was having with some modifications to his house. He was having to control the workmen’s efforts day by day and the job kept expanding so that he had almost lost sight of the original aim.
I suggested that he was managing this in exactly the way he was managing his team at work. They often have no idea of what the plan is or what they will be doing the next day. This makes it impossible to delegate to them and so the business is limited to what the owner can control himself.
What are your employees’ horizons? Are they only able to see as far as the end of the shift? Or the end of the week? The month?
You and your fellow Directors should have a three year horizon. Anyone who has the title of “manager” and reports to you should be able to see twelve months ahead. No employees should have a horizon of less than a month.
How do you achieve this? Systemise your business. Here are some things you need: A business strategy that is written down, communicated to all staff and regularly reviewed in the light of actual events; a business plan and budget that is used to manage the business through the year; job descriptions with clear accountabilities linked to key performance indicators; annual objective setting and review; a monthly management process; regular, effective internal communications.
How do you understand your employees’ current horizons? Ask them the following questions:
- How is success measured in your role?
- When or how often is that measured?
- What are your current objectives?
If any employees can’t answer these questions you have some work to do to extend their horizons.