How to Get Results From Your Team

Last Updated Jun 24, 2010 7:14 PM EDT

Let's say you like the sound of a href="http://www.bnet.com/2403-13059_23-237128.html">Results-Only Work Environment but you know it
would be a tough sell at your company. Even if you're not able to
roll out the full program, here are 10 things you can do right now to kick the
habit of old-fashioned, time-based management and get your team focusing on
results instead.

1. Make meetings optional.


Let people
evaluate their need to participate. If they know they can make better use of
their time (and the company’s time), then they should.

2. Stop judging how people spend their time.


Seemingly
innocent little digs like “nice of you to join us” can hurt
loyalty, engagement, and productivity. We refer to judgmental language like
this as Sludge. (Having a term for it makes it easier to call people out on it.)
You, and your employees, need to knock off comments like:


“Ten
o’clock and just getting in?”


“Rita
is in the lactation room again. I wish I had kids. I’d never have to
work.”


“I
can’t believe Toby got that promotion. He’s never here!”

3. Reward employees based on results, not on how much time they put in at
the office.


Instead of
saying, “James put in a lot of extra hours this month —
good for James!” talk about what James actually contributed. What did
he do for the company? Do not use any reference to time. Otherwise, your team
will compete to “out-time” every else to get attention.

4. Don’t prescribe what work-life balance looks like for your
employees.


“Well,
you have a kid, so you’ll need to make sure they’re in day
care when you’re home working, otherwise you won’t get
anything done.”


“Wow,
it’s 6:30 — you should really go home now and spend time
with your family.”


It’s
not up to you. It’s up to them.

5. Don’t handpick who gets to be flexible and who doesn’t.


In order to
work a flexible, results-based program has to apply to everyone — and
yes, that includes administrative assistants and new hires.

6. Stop managing by walking around.


Every time
you “check in” on someone, they have to stop what they were
doing, reorient their thinking to give you a spontaneous presentation, and
then, once you leave, reorient themselves back to doing the work. Send them an
e-mail instead.

7. Quit using fake crises as a management tool.


Dropping a
last-minute request on your employees is the equivalent of a grade-school fire
drill. It creates a false sense of urgency and wastes their time. Plan ahead
instead of popping by with that “quick question” you should
have asked a week ago.

8. Don’t think that you’re a great boss if during a
snowstorm you “let” your people “leave early.”


Sending out
an e-mail “letting” people take time off for a project well
done or a snowstorm — or whatever — is another way to make
people feel like children. It reinforces the fact that you have control over
their time and they don’t. Let people make this decision themselves.

9. Stop relying on human resources to do the “people”
part of your job — get clear about performance goals, communicate
often, and hold people accountable.


You lose your
credibility when you bring in HR to have the tough conversations. When your
employees aren’t performing, talk to them. Find out why, and
rather than focus on how hard they’re working or the amount of hours
they’re putting in, focus on the work itself. What do they need to do
to succeed?

10. Trust your people like you trust yourself.


Stop making
rules for the few you’re afraid won’t live up to your
expectations. Or rules that protect you from the incompetence of the few but
hinder the performance of the many. Your goal is to make work as unlike grade
school as possible.

Excerpted
from
href="http://caliandjody.com/book/">Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No
Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke — The Simple Change That Can Make
Your Job Terrific by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson by arrangement with
Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright Thompson &
Ressler, LLC, 2008.