No employee feels himself a machine for completing tasks. Everyone is an intelligent, thoughtful, creative and responsible person.
If it’s not about your employees, it means you’re doing something wrong. When the employee’s abilities are respected, they give excellent results.
There is a method of how to make employees feel winged and free to cope with each new challenge. We use it at work. Perhaps it is useful for you too. Also, you can use a special application to assign and task implementation.
Task is not an order
Which of these tasks would you like to get?
|Call your client||Your client has called while you were out|
|Prepare a sales report||I need to understand how much your department sold in the last quarter|
|Draw an advertising model||It is necessary to attract the attention of the visitors to the new service|
The correctly assigned task is a problem that an employee must solve optimally and creatively. This is not an order and direct instruction.
Task-order implies execution in strictly set limits. This is a dead-end road.
If you ask an employee to prepare a report, he will prepare a report, with no thought about how it would later be used and why it is needed. It would be done anyhow.
Task-orders have unpleasant consequences:
- An employee is responsible only for what he is formally charged. If the result can not be used further, it is not his concern: “The task is assigned incorrectly. I am not guilty”.
- An employee accumulates a feeling that the head is an idiot. Because the employee “knows what to do better”, and the chief instructs him unnecessary and uninteresting work. “I work with a client and he makes me write a formal report”.
- An employee gradually loses interest in the work, degrades and becomes one of those who need a stick to work. It generates the impression that stupid performing of boring and uninteresting errands for wages is the real work. At the next place of work, everything is the same. Despondency.
Task-problem implies that the employee chooses a particular method of its solving and is responsible for his choice and for the entire result. This is the path of growth and development.
If the chief needs sales figures, the employee can offer not only a report. Perhaps the chief needs only two figures and the employee can fill them in the table. And maybe all this process needs to be automated.
Solving the problem, the employee is constantly developing:
- Since he chooses the way of solving the problem, he is responsible for the result and thinks about others in the process. He becomes the master of his decisions, his work, his career, and life. He becomes free.
- Where the liberty is, there is responsibility: if the employee’s decision is not appropriate for the colleagues, this is the sphere of his responsibility and he adjusts the job.
- An employee understands the meaning of his work within the company. Even if it involves doing something monotonous and difficult it is now the choice of the employee and he knows how important this work is. He sees a connection between his work and the fate of the company. He does not complain that the work is not interesting. He is a superhero.
Note: It does not require radical changes in the corporate culture. It’s a question of how the leader formulates the problem. The problem is in words.
Task-problem consists of standard elements that help the employee to find the right solution. Here they are:
Explain the employee where this problem comes from and what it implies. An explanation can be short or more concrete if the employee is not familiar with the topic. The description takes time, but only because of it the employee sees the meaning of his work within the company.
The board of directors meets the day after, I need to present the results of a branch.
ESSENCE AND CONDITIONS OF THE TASK
Describe the results you want to achieve, conditions and restrictions. Do not forget about the timing and quantitative indicators. Do not prescribe specific steps on this stage.
We need every fourth visitor of the site to order our insurance. At the same time we can not alter our home page or rewrite code. Everything that we have is the “news” section and advertising.
Be sure to describe what happens with the results at the next stage.
Mike is resposible for the website. He will implement your decision. Ask him in what format he wants to get a decision from you.
EXPLANATION OF TERMS
It is useless to set a deadline from the thin air. To put your task in priority, explain the terms.
We are to implement and test the solution by September, 1 because a special project that will bring us two times more customers starts on September 2.
If an employee has a colleague at the same level, he might ask: “Why me?” out of healthy curiosity. Respond to him to make him proud of himself:
I can entrust this task only you.
Now the employee has no doubt that he is the person who has to do it.
VARIANT OF SOLUTION
In the end, when the target is set and the employee feels himself the master of the situation, you can offer your vision of solutions. But do not present it as the only truth.
I think it can be done through advertising on the main and inner pages. But few people are responding to this ad, so you need to think it over too.
The beauty of the method is that this scheme works for any problem and in each case, the performer will feel free.
At the same time, it is not ultra-liberal corporate culture with a free schedule. You put the same terms, requirements, and limitations. Responsibility of the employee increases. As well as the responsibility of the head. Employees are developing. The company is moving forward.