There is a tremendous engagement
and execution gap in companies. of employees don’t understand the companies goals. of executives sustainably achieve those goals. of employees are actively engaged in their work Only % 13 % 60 Only 10 %
Employees aligned with and engaged
in company goals create value… Engaged employees drive innovation and the organization. They are the only people who create new customers. Disengaged employees sleepwalk through their day and undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish. while their disengaged peers undermine that value.
Senior Management Middle
Management Frontline Managers The Problem Lies with Management …And How They Spend Their Time Consistently achieve their goals only 10% of the time Can have the highest impact but are first to get blamed Direct face to the workforce but receive the least training
Senior Management Middle Management Frontline
Managers Managers don’t spend their time leading • Monitors middle management initiatives • Deals with administrative matters and e-mails • Conducts meetings for operational improvements • Assign multiple people to the same initiative • Request frequent progress reports on initiatives • Review justifications for decisions from below • Produces data for reporting • Seeks approval for decisions • Completes forms and reports
This leaves little time for
leadership activities that drive positive engagement and performance: ü Setting strategy ü Communicating goals ü Empowering teams to execute ü Coaching rising leaders ü Creating learning environments
Frontline managers 1. Are most
likely to have full workloads other than managing 2. Have primary role in sustaining goal alignment 3. Are whom employees engage with the most 4. Receive the least training of all roles 5. Are least prepared to be great at the job of managing
Middle managers 1. Have the
highest potential impact on the bottom line 2. Lack the authority or resources to execute for impact 3. Are an easy target of blame from both above and below 4. Are left out of leadership coaching
Business has gotten far more
complex and teams more global. The tools for communicating and linking goals, actions, status and feedback haven’t improved in 20 years. So management at all levels use 5 productivity tools to cascade goals, identify the work to achieve them and communicate progress week after week. Excel lists of actions, SharePoint sites with versions of half-finished work, PowerPoint red light/green light dashboards, emails explaining what didn’t get done and endless status meetings. These time-sucking methods of communicating goals, actions, status and feedback consume precious time and sap the leadership capacity for most managers.
To improve engagement
and execution, managers need an efﬁciency breakthrough before they can increase their leadership capacity. Blaming the execution gap on managers or suggesting it’s as simple as using their time wisely isn’t helpful – they need the means to create more time and capacity.
Managers should spend more time
leading Senior Management Middle Management Frontline Managers • Coach and motivate direct reports • Communicate the company’s vision and strategy • Analyze future trends • Empower frontline managers to stretch themselves • Set performance goals • Share best practices across teams • Deal with under-performance, reward positive results • Know each individual personally • Create and share clear and tangible business targets
Make time to lead. Be
skillful and disciplined about: Communicating Goals Driving execution accountability Making transparency efﬁcient Giving frequent constructive feedback
Make communicating goals and priorities
a priority Your time is well spent communicating goals, objectives and priorities to the team. The team can’t achieve goals it doesn’t understand. Repetition of goals pays off when people are overwhelmed with a lot of data, noise and distraction every day.
Be clear and
speciﬁc on the work to achieve goals Doubt about ownership and the actions needed to achieve goals undermines achievement and wastes tremendous time. Make sure everyone knows what’s required to achieve group goals, hand offs within the team are smooth, ownership is clear and people feel accountable for execution. Rather than spend your time doing, spend your time creating shared accountability.
Create efﬁcient transparency Track a
consistent list of the actions needed for goal achievement and current status to ensure people don’t waste time on immaterial work and you have transparency on the progress of important work. Avoid reconstituting the actions list or status framework each week – it makes facts harder to get or trust when they mutate every week. Set an interval to check status rather than doing it haphazardly throughout the day; it will save you and your team time.
Give immediate and real feedback
to the team Be consistent in giving feedback to all your team members (not just the super stars). Link the feedback to actions and goals to improve both engagement and achievement. Both positive and negative feedback are essential to engaging your team and achieving your execution goals – so don’t short change this part of the management job.
19 Want 30% more
leadership capacity? Get Workboard, a free app to help managers and their teams: Share goals and priorities Coordinate and delegate work Automate status reports and achieve transparency Enable consistent, engaging feedback
20 The Zen of
Achievement www.workboard.com Want more leadership tools and tips? Find them here.