Individual Effort and the Bottom Line

by: Dean Fulford

In an earlier blog post I talked about success and happiness at work and how effective goal setting plays a big role in this process. Effective goals have structure and are meaningful. They have milestones built in along the way so that employees can enjoy successes while working toward the ultimate objective. Meaningful goals create a connection between individual effort and the success of the company

A recent study by Robert Half Management Resources confirms that employees really want their goals to be meaningful. They want to see the impact of their own work on the success of the company. Nearly 3 out of 5 employees want greater insight into the connection between their duties and the performance of their organization!

We know from studying employee engagement there are also benefits for the company in this. Employees who can see the impact of their effort on team and company success have higher engagement, which in turn results in greater discretionary effort and resolve in the face of challenges. These are the characteristics of the ‘super’ employee all organizations are looking for!

3 Steps to Connecting Individual Effort and Company Success

Taking these steps when developing performance plans can help you build the connection in your team:

  1. Don’t stop at the executive table. Talk about company performance and operating goals with all employees, at all levels. Weave in stories that connect the output of different roles toward organizational success. This may encourage improved individual performance and contribution.
  2. Keep the conversation going. Take advantage of regular opportunities to give everyone updates on organizational performance and where specific contributions from different people or roles have made a difference.
  3. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your four walls. Gather input from key stakeholders, customers, suppliers, or consultants to test perceptions, learn best practices and share insights.

Look for – and create – opportunities to build employee-to-business connection. Increased employee effort may be their way of saying “thanks”.

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