Performance objectives and goals are an important part of most professionals’ lives, regardless of their industry or position. However, there are numerous reports indicating the staggering numbers of employees who are completely disengaged from the work they do, and this number is expected to keep growing. So it got me thinking about the relationship between people and the goals and objectives they are striving to achieve.
I was working with a group of managers on improving employee engagement. Hearing their stories I asked them, “What is your relationship to your goals?” I got some strange looks, but it’s an important question we should be asking ourselves and the people we manage and lead each day. Low employee engagement is a complex issue, and can be very unique for each organization. But our relationship to our goals is a fundamental question we should be able to ask and answer ourselves. There are some performance actions leaders should be aware of in order to improve employee engagement, and hence workplace performance.
Avoid impersonal goals
When we are leading a group of employees and the goals and objectives they are striving for have no personal meaning to them, this will inevitably lead over time to disengagement. Employees will simply go through the motions of their day-to-day activities, trying to achieve what they have set out to do. This is what I often refer to as the depersonalization of work. It is sometimes hard to detect in organizations where this way of working has become the norm.
Don’t overlook small accomplishments
The way to large organizational goals is through an ongoing process of achieving small and sometimes what can be seen as insignificant goals. These small accomplishments are often overlooked as we go about our work, and that can often lead to disengagement because the large organizational goals seem distant and not achievable. To help give personal meaning to the performance of your team, stop from time to time and celebrate the small meaningful accomplishments that bring the team closer towards achieving those larger organizational goals and objectives.
Banish “who cares” attitude
I have written a few articles on how to overcome failures and setbacks within an organization, and there are valuable skills leaders can use to overcome failures. As a manager it’s important to be aware of when a failure or setback does occur. The “who cares” attitude is not an option. This is a red flag indicating no personal commitment towards achieving organizational goals and objectives, and a sure sign that employee disengagement is within the culture. In a case like this, it’s important a manager has the skills to turn the attitude around from a “who cares” into a recharged team commitment to achieve the goals and objectives and to keep moving forward.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
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