For employees to remain engaged and to become high performers in an organization, they need to feel “connected” to their work and the workplace. That connection largely forms through the relationships of the employee with others in the workplace—both peers and supervisors. Thus, the supervisor’s on-going feedback and the culmination of feedback annually in a written evaluation is critical to how the employee feels about his or her work.
Judgment refers to our ability to make a good decision about what should be done after giving it careful thought. We are inclined to think that good decisions happen when you have good information and plenty of it; that after researching the facts and comparing the data, the best course of action will be illuminated. However, we should not forget that, at some point, human tendencies are part of the equation.
Some of the resources in our Leadership Toolkit explain the elements of successful execution. This job aid aims to not only address the elements of execution but, more importantly, the behaviors that are most closely related with successful execution.
The misconception that many leaders have is that execution is what happens at the end of the strategic planning process when in reality it needs to be built into the development of the strategy and, just as importantly, the culture of the
organization. Execution should not be regarded as the detail work that is delegated down to the staff but must be embedded by leaders into the three interdependent organizational core processes of: people, strategy and operations.
Without execution, all of the other leadership attributes that we spend time cultivating become meaningless. Leaders and teams are expected to provide a service, accomplish tasks, and get a job done. Leaders and teams are expected to get results; they are expected to execute.
The University of Florida uses a Responsibility Center Management (RCM) structure for budgeting and fund distribution. UF uses RCM to decentralize budget-related decisions. Under RCM, each unit is financially responsible for its activities and is held accountable for its expenditures. The aim is to provide units more flexibility and control to apply their resources in support of their priorities. RCM also provides a higher degree of transparency and predictability with respect to allocations.
Let’s be honest: performance conversations can be intimidating and downright scary. So scary that many leaders avoid them at all costs, or dance around the issue by being too soft when they deliver their message. Or worse, are so anxious to get it over with that they hit the employee with a verbal two-by-four and quickly leave the scene with the employee left alone to manage the emotional wake that was created. None of those approaches achieves the intended results of holding performance conversations: improved performance and productive workplace behavior.
In the Holding Difficult Conversations job aid, leaders can learn how to initiate conversations with employees and coworkers that not only hold others accountable for their commitments but strengthens the leaders’ confidence to hold them more often.
Many people hear the term “accountability” and immediately feel threatened or fearful. The negativity associated with this word has, unfortunately, been earned due to its mis-use as a punitive consequence. But, what most people don’t recognize is that accountability is the “secret sauce” in high performing organizations. Developing a culture where people at all levels can be counted on increases shared accountability between teams and departments.
The value of good documentation is that is aids leaders in providing useful feedback to employees, leads to improved performance appraisals, and tracks both positive performance as well as areas of improvement.
Supervisors should not make hiring decisions based on anything other than bona fide occupational qualifications. By law, you cannot discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, pregnancy, veteran status, disability, marital status, and genetic information. Supervisors should avoid trying to “read between the lines” to identify a candidate’s age, or other non-job-related information when reviewing applications or resumes.