Friday, December 7, 2012

The Key to Effective, Results-Based Managing

October 11, 2012

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Employees want the flexibility to determine where, when and how they work. Technology enables them do that. Research shows that workers are away from their desks for as much as 70 percent of work time.
That’s a problem.
Management styles born in the days of sweatshops and typing pools, based on time clocks and counting heads, just don’t work with a mobile workforce.
Whether your employees are down the hall or thousands of miles away in a client’s office, if you’re not measuring by results, you really don’t know who’s productive and who isn’t.

Measure Productivity

Results-based management is nothing new or complex. In fact, it’s so simple even cavemen understood it. Find food, eat. No find food, hungry. Only results mattered, not how many people were involved or how many hours were spent hunting.
When you ignore where, when and how people work—when you focus on results—people are more productive, more creative and more successful.
Your company culture benefits, too, because results-based management:
  • Requires that you really understands your goals
  • Ensures that your resources are aligned toward those goals
  • Boosts employee morale, engagement and loyalty
  • Reduces cross-functional inefficiencies
  • Democratizes career advancement
  • Exposes weak links
  • Helps attract key talent

Managing People You Can’t See

First, establish a clear outcomes-based performance measurement system. Then establish personal performance goals with each employee and hold him or her accountable.
How you set those goals is critically important. Without a direct tie-in to organizational goals, you risk working harder and harder, to do better and better, at something you shouldn’t be doing at all.
The leader needs to set goals that are clearly and continually communicated. Everyone needs to be very clear on what the priorities are, why they’re important, and the role each person plays in reaching those goals. Performance goals need to be:
  • Tied to your organization’s core values and overall goals
  • Specific, measurable and time-specific 
  • Achievable—employees need to have the ability and tools to meet them
  • Monitored to ensure that they continue to align with the company’s focus

Expert Consensus

Top human resources experts agree, the key to unlocking employee potential is results-based management.

“Failure to promote anytime, anywhere work will dilute a company’s ability to attract, engage and manage diverse talent,” says Meryl Rosenthal, CEO and president of FlexPaths.

Enabling a results-based culture is simple. “Detail what is expected of your staff—work products, availability, communication procedures—and hold them accountable wherever they are—at the office, the client’s office, the airport, the beach or at home,” says Judi Casey, principal investigator and director at Sloan Work and Family Research Network

Work is a Verb

Work is no longer about places, it’s about people. The work-anywhere culture has helped companies expand their talent pool, and attract top performers. It’s reduced their real estate, absenteeism, turnover and healthcare costs. It’s increased their competitive advantage. It’s improved collaboration and fostered teamwork. It’s exposed underperformers and eliminated workplace saboteurs. It’s uncovered weaknesses and improved efficiency. It’s helped companies reduce their carbon footprint. And it has ensured their ability to serve customers in the event of a disaster.
Tom Harnish is a serial entrepreneur. Always on the bleeding edge of technology, he learned what works (and what doesn’t) leading projects, products and companies to success (mostly).

 Read more tips and advice for effective management.

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