Synchronize

synchronized swimming

It is well known that companies must work towards a common goal.  The company’s mission statement and vision cascades down into department goals and measurable KPIs (key performance indicators) and further into individual employee goals.  Everyone in the company must understand what they are working towards and how they fit in the big picture.

In 1962, John F. Kennedy visited NASA and met a janitor on his tour.  He stopped the tour, introduced himself, and asked him what he was doing.  The janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” You see, the janitor knew his role in the organization and was able to articulate it.

How many employees don’t know what they’re doing?  It’s easy for employees who work in non-profit organizations to have a sense of meaning in their job, or employees who work in the medical field and other roles, but what about employees who work in the banking sector, for instance?  What about those working for insurance companies?  What’s their role?  Well, Mr. President, we are here to put some fear into people and make them bet they won’t die in 10 years.”  Doesn’t really fit, does it?

In organizations, it is crucial to communicate the goal (mission/vision) of the organization.  You can’t expect employees to have a sense of meaning without informing them because someone else might inform them something different.  How many times were rumors the only source of information for employees?  When induction training isn’t given importance, new hires are getting their induction training elsewhere and you, as a manager, can’t control what information they are being fed.  Therefore, induction training is needed to start the communication channels.

Open communication during the employment is also important.  Managers must discuss employee’s goals or performance plan in the beginning of every cycle, explain the expected outcomes, follow up during the cycle, and finally discuss the results at the end of the cycle.  This ensures that the employee is kept informed throughout his employment of his expected performance.

It is ideal to be able to measure performance and make sure it is in line with the organizational goals.  It is also important that companies understand that when outsiders contact one person from that company, he/she is representing the company and not him/herself.  The company is seen as a whole entity where individual employees are a part of the bigger picture.  It is important for managers to keep everyone synchronized (in sync) regardless of the many times that they may feel like they will miss a step or even drown.

In the end, it is how you portray yourself as a company.  Should you have the bad swimmers thrown off your team?  Should you be expected to learn new moves and get out of the water smiling?  And should you be able to jump through hoops and perform hand stands to make your customers happy?

And what if you’re a monopoly?  Would any of this matter or should we expect to watch a very bad show?

Synchronize your employees, the show must go on.

 

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