Barriers to Performance Improvement – Part Four
This is part four of a five part series about the Barriers to Performance Improvement.
These are all major and common in business and organizations today and will need to be addressed in order to completely turn around our competitive advantage in the global economy.
The Fourth Barrier to Performance Improvement is…
Misuse of Work Management Disciplines
This Barrier is about a tendency a total lack of discipline in basic managerial functions like being casual, careless or even cynical about work planning tools, measurement and tracking results and strategic alignment with planning.
Discipline is a key trait necessary for any form of growth and success. In fact, when you look into the reach of discipline or a lack of discipline in most cases, you can easily see the impact of the discipline trait on all areas of life. However, this is clearly a major issue in the world of management and leadership within businesses. Discipline is a needed trait for all the systems to work properly.
There are a number of signals which reflect a possible lack of discipline within a business. These are front and center when you see a lack of improvement, poor results and an apparent lack of direction.
The common signs of the Barrier of Misuse of Work Management Disciplines are…
- Too Many Goals and Objectives
This signal is one I find often, too many goals forces people to draw their own conclusions as to what are the priorities. It also shows the management lack an ability to narrow the scope of focus so the highest priorities are getting the attention needed everyday. Take a moment to check your goals and objectives especially look for conflicting goals or objectives whereby if one is attained it automatically means the second will not be attained. The best companies narrow the numbers of major goals down to three to five with an occasional need for six to seven. Even there, it is possible a couple of choices need to be executed.
- Goals Set Too Far into the Future
When goals are set too far into the future, most people automatically assume they are unattainable. No effort is devoted to this goal since there is also an underlining belief of there’s plenty of time left to achieve the goal. This is one of the major reasons for a lack of change and improvement since there is no linkage between the current level of work and the desired level of work.
- Elusive or Moving Goals
I have seen organization – their management team – actually change the rules or the goals in the middle of the goal attainment process making them higher or tougher to achieve. This immediately leads to poor morale. The other issue is a lack of clarity regarding the goals for the rank and file workers to know what is expected in terms of results. Make certain the goals are clear and definitive. When everyone understands the goals – the goals get accomplished.
- Unclear, Incomplete or Inadequate Work Plans
My work with organizations has allowed me to observe how employees response to a lack of clear work plans. In fact about half of the workforce actually needs clear work plans to feel motivated to perform their work. The most common downside of a lack of work plans is a lack of focus on high priority activities leading to positive results and outcomes.
- Lack of Tracking and Reviews for Measurement Purposes
Remember this phrase – What Gets Measured, Gets Done. It really is a simple thing to do. Figure out the what can be measured leading to goal achievement and then set up a tracking system to follow the progress. When people can look at measurements, they immediately know where they stand in the process. Make it easy for people to achieve more in the their business life.
- Fuzzy to No Accountability
This one should be a common sense issue, yet, we find some gaps relative to how accountability is used in organizations. Amazingly, we have found some managers do not want to be held accountable as it puts them at risk within the organization. Safety and job security have a higher priority than being held to a higher standard of performance. Interesting information. Yet, we also find the highest performing leaders have the highest personal accountability scores on our leadership assessments. These are the same leaders who move up the hierarchy and lead their organizations to higher levels of performance. Must be the accountability factor that makes a difference.
There you have the major signals leading to barriers to performance improvement within your organization. Take time to reflect on each point and decide if it is present in your organization. If it is, think about how much it could be affecting your performance. Then begin to design ways to improve the situation.
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Tags: Barriers to Performance Improvement, effect of fuzzy goals, effect of too many goals, Lack of Management Discipline, Misuse of Work Management Disciplines, Performance Improvement, too many goals, Voss W Graham