In order to create results-oriented organizations, business executives must manage employee performance.
When business executives emphasize the importance of achieving results, employees make themselves accountable for the goal set before them. As a result, internal systems are better aligned with company goals and resources are better expended to run the organization more efficiently.
When challenges to achieving key targets come up, employees become more persistent and innovative in overcoming obstacles. Most importantly, business executives can better keep score of company goals and assess early warning signs for potential problems.
When business executives get employees onboard with achieving goals, they create success-driven companies.
For example, Elon Musk’s SpaceX made history by becoming the first private company to successfully launch and return a spacecraft from Earth to orbit. At that time, many people thought what Musk had set out to do was impossible.
However, Musk knew that if he wanted to send people to Mars, he had to solve the difficult challenge of lowering the cost of space travel. Despite many failed attempts, Musk was able to attain the impossible. How? Musk did this by inspiring his team to answer a simple question that was key in achieving his goal: “What would it take to make it happen?”.
Creating a results-driven organization is not easy; many business executives often struggle to run an effective business in this capacity. Most businesses fall trapped in focusing too much on the input and give little thought to the end result. They spend too much time on what doesn’t work than what actually does. It is not to say that effort in getting the result does not matter; rather, it should not dominate the narrative when operating a business.
All too often, an organization lags behind in innovation and competition due to neglecting a key component of its existence: goal achievement.
So, what can business executives do to align employees in getting results accomplished? Here are 4 tips for business executives to orient and motivate employees to achieve company goals.
#1 – Identify and clearly communicate the company desired goal
Before business executives can expect employees to achieve goals, they must first be able to identify and clearly communicate the goal that the company is trying to achieve.
What is the company’s reason for existence and what are the main steps necessary to accomplish the goal? A shared goal – no matter how big or audacious – has the ability to motivate people to work together, especially when that goal is compelling. Just like the story of SpaceX, people often underestimate what can be accomplished.
But, with the push from Musk, his team was able to keep focused on the bigger picture and remember what they were striving for.
When business executives clearly depict what they want employees to achieve, employees are more focused, aligned, and engaged in what is best for the company. Goal context and clarity allow employees to know what is expected of them and thus improve overall productivity. According to Gartner, organizations with managers that provide goal contextualization can boost the productivity of high-performing employees from 44% to 60%. When goals are clearly defined, there is more accountability and fewer excuses.
#2 – Don’t do everything, focus on what matters
Business executives often juggle many tasks that often compete with their time.
They get pulled in many directions and become overloaded with a never-ending list of things to do. While it might seem daunting to get all these things done, the truth is that many of these tasks are mere distractions that take away from the already limited time of business executives. Business executives must learn to distinguish work relevant and important in achieving the company’s overarching goal.
A great rule for business executives to follow is Pareto’s 80/20 rule.
According to this rule, 80% of results come from 20% of tasks that are deemed most productive. So, business executives should simply focus their effort on tasks that will yield the best result to achieving the goal defined by the company. By concentrating on a few tasks most relevant to the company goal, business executives make better use of their valuable time and mental capacity.
#3 – Quantify and keep score of what matters
Scoreboards are a great way for business executives to keep a pulse on whether the company is on track to achieving its overall goal.
It keeps everyone in the company focused, helps forecast patterns, and provides an objective picture of the truth. When business executives align metrics to the company goal, it becomes easier to assess the company’s overall health and rectify potential problems immediately.
Measuring relevant metrics is a great way to develop employees within the company. When managed right, it keeps employees engaged, makes them accountable, and allows them to get recognized for their contribution to the achievement of the goal. Research shows that employees with managers that hold them accountable for their performance are 2.5x more likely to be engaged at work.
Therefore, keeping track of metrics is a great way to keep everyone aligned and engaged with their designated roles and responsibilities.
#4 – Develop mutual trust within the company
In order to have a successful company oriented to achieving goals, it is imperative for business executives to develop a work culture of mutual trust. To get results, employees must be motivated to do the work.
For employees to be motivated, trust must be established.
According to Fredmund Malik, trust is the “key prerequisite for motivation”. Without trust, any effort to drive employees to achieve results can be futile. So, what are some key ways for business executives to build trust? Malik emphasizes the importance of listening to employees with intent and being authentic in the workplace.
Therefore, business executives must emphasize building a workplace culture of mutual trust in order to create high-performing and high-achieving employees.
Bringing it all together
In summary, achieving company goals is a critical part of running successful companies and business executives play an important role in determining a company’s ability to achieve goals.
When done right, business executives have the potential to create highly motivated, productive, and innovative employees. To do this, business executives must identify and clearly communicate goals, focus their time on relevant actions, keep track of metrics aligned to the goal, and build a culture of mutual trust. By motivating employees right, business executives run companies driven by results and sustainable performance.