An organization is like a train. If the people, the plan, and the timelines stay on track, then the organization runs smoothly. Without an intentional process, the whole system derails. Valuable time and effort are lost trying to get everything back on the tracks.
You can also lose track of some basic human behaviors that support the foundation of your business. For most companies, the human element plays a significant role in success. A secure behavioral infrastructure for your human capital creates change for engagement, efficiency, and effectiveness of your employees. No matter how fast your forward momentum travels, three behaviors, when integrated into the fabric of your business, strengthen the human element and also provide a smooth railway toward a cohesive company.
The three behaviors are relevant for all members of your organization, from the founder and managers, to the staff. When consistently and intentionally incorporated into work actions, these behaviors change the culture, health, and money-making capabilities of your company, keeping everything on the tracks:
Communicate and Monitor Project Goals to Keep Everyone Moving Forward
Communicating and monitoring projects goals brings intentional order to your business. This first behavior offers employees a way to feel connected and maintains a constant, orderly flow to the work of the company. As Simon Buehring, stated in The Importance of Communication in Project Management, “Maintaining open, regular and accurate channels of communication with all levels of project staff and stakeholders is vital to ensuring the smooth flow of instructions from the customer to factory floor and sufficient warning of risks and changes to enable early assessment and preparation.” Tools such as Microsoft Project and Gantt Charts help give visible representations, but the tools are only as good as the people monitoring the goals. Without communication and monitoring of project goals, organizational timelines may be miscommunicated or entirely missed. Employees may not completely understand the plan, which causes frustration as he or she would feel less connected to work.
Make Your Words and Actions Match to Build Trust Among Employees
The second behavior is a powerful trust-builder. Robert Hurley, in his Harvard Business Review article, The Decision to Trust, suggested that “companies that foster a trusting culture will have an advantage in the war for talent: Who would choose to stay in a stressful, divisive atmosphere if offered a productive, supportive one?” Without this other behavior, business professionals may fall into “business speak” and lose the authenticity that occurs when words and actions match. Words and actions that do not match cause fractures in the firm. The more fractures, the more likely that people will respond dispassionately to the business, and thereby disengage from the company. This behavior can even enhance enterprises that state up front that they are, “just in it to make money.” Employees know that, if they work for that company, the goal of the organization is to “just make money” and will not be surprised by that action when it occurs. However, if a company says, “We believe in work-life balance, then work their employees until 10’o clock at night every night with little time for a personal life, this discrepancy will cause a dissonance in the business that puts multiple micro-fractures in the company. The consequences of not implementing this behavior include reduced trust and authenticity, along with a breakdown in the cohesiveness of the organization due to fracturing.
Keep Focus on Project Goals, Not Interpersonal Issues
Focus on project goals enhances interpersonal relationships, time management, and efficiency. Too many times the tendency of people leans toward a focus on the problems. For example, a co-worker doesn’t like something that someone is doing, so he or she spends time each day talking about frustration with that person. Or, a manager doesn’t like the way an employee works, so he or she uses work time to complain about the problem instead of explaining and maintaining accountability to the employee about what changes need to happen for his or her job to be secured. The benefits of focusing on the goals include: creating a culture that better maintains the observable goal and keeping the business aligned with the positive outcomes instead of making judgments of good or bad, or wrong or right. With this behavior, employees are more likely to state frustrations and challenges in observable measurements instead of personal or emotional beliefs. Without this third response, employees lose focus and time creating a culture of negativity and move the company in a direction that does not enhance or promote the overall project goals of the enterprise
Most businesses struggle with the age-old challenge of balancing project goals and financial success with the soft objective of maintaining the wayward behaviors of human nature. Regardless of the corporate culture you choose to follow, these three actions help keep you and your company on the tracks with a cohesive and intentional plan that takes you toward the next destination.
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