How to Get What You Really Need From Your Employees

iStock_000012479981XSmall[1]As a business leader, you have goals, dreams, and ideas you want to accomplish. And together, your team helps you achieve those goals and objectives. But sometimes, the end result your employees present – whether it’s a completed assignment or a finished product – doesn’t quite meet your expectations. Whether it’s just a simple task or a year-long project, getting what you really need from your employees isn’t always easy.

To help you reach your goals and meet the demands of your team and company, follow these steps to make sure you get what you want and need for from your staff.

Step 1: Know what you need.
Before you assign a new project to your team or a task to an employee, make sure you know what needs to be accomplished from the assignment and the desired results. You don’t have to know every detail of a project or exactly how it should look – your team is there to help you develop all the ins and outs. But, you should know the purpose the project will serve, and the company needs and goals it will help meet. For example, if you’re asking an employee to come up with a new safety incentive program for the office, before you assign the project, make sure you outline and define the purpose of the project and the desired outcome whether it’s to help cut down on workers’ compensation costs, prevent workplace injuries, or improve your workplace environment.

Step 2: Communicate clearly from the get go.
Once you’ve outlined the purpose and desired outcome of a project or task, make sure you communicate exactly what you’re looking for from the start. Be clear and concise in your instructions. If you have a specific expectation, inform your employees at the beginning of the process. Share the purpose and expected results.

Also remember that communication is a two-way street. So, be open to your employees’ input and insights. Ask for their feedback and expertise. Let them know your door is always open for questions and advice. When you give feedback, make sure it’s constructive. Don’t give broad blanket statements about what you don’t like. Be precise about what you do and don’t want changed. Be clear, honest, and open in your communication with your team, and you will be less likely to encounter miscommunications that hinder your team’s ability to succeed and get you what you need.

Step 3: Stay involved in the process.
Be involved in the process to make sure the project stays on task and you get the end results you want. Don’t just hand the project off to your team. Keep the lines of communication open and ask for occasional updates to find out where things stand. But also remember that being involved does not mean micro-managing. Rely on your team’s skills. Trust their knowledge and input. If you’re not sure how much input and instruction to provide, look at each individual’s experience and expertise to determine the management style you should use in the given situation.

It can be frustrating and disappointing for you and your team when you don’t get exactly what you’re looking for. Going back to the drawing board because an idea or project doesn’t work out can cause unnecessary anxiety. It can lower workplace productivity and negatively impact employee engagement. To get what you need from your employees, determine your expectations, provide clear communication, and stay involved in the process and the end result will be something you can all be proud of.

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