The informed team player will help you to be a more valuable leader and organization. Why then does the vast majority have difficulty articulating what their companies most Important goal is?

There are not many things more deflating from an employee than to realize they have been working on the wrong thing for a period of time. However, the reality is this happens all the time.

In this second post on being a team player, the goal is to empower those leading teams to help their teams be the best they can be.

In Chris McChesney’s book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, he mentions that 85 percent of employees surveyed were not able to recall what the companies most important goal were. That is eight out of ten people working hard, but potentially on the wrong thing.

While there may be many variables that lead to this, there is a way to help combat this, by the team member staying informed. When you know what is most important in a company, this helps determine what you put your energy and focus.

1. Expectations.

Team members need their leader to help provide clarity for them. One of the greatest ways to provide this is to give them clear expectations.

Expectations, simply put, is what you expect to get from them; the work they were hired to do.

Gallup has found that half of the employees they have worked with do not know what is expected of them, so giving them clear expectations will put you in front of the pack.

2. Vision.

You can give your team members vision in three different areas:

  • A vision for the organization- Where the company is going.
  • A vision for the team or department- Where the team is going.
  • A vision for the individual team member- Where you see them going in the company.

Vision helps paint a picture of a preferred future and therefore encourages the team to work hard.

3. Time.

Your team members will need your time to stay informed.  A combination of one-on-ones and team meetings will go a long way.

What is important here is that you have a consistent time together where you will cast vision, give feedback, receive feedback, give updates on performance, and keep team members accountable to most important goals.

Keeping on top of these three keys will help your team members stay informed about what is going on in the company.

I would love to hear what are some other keys that can help your team stay informed.

Have you ever noticed that employees seem disgruntled with their bosses? Though this can be a common theme, this does not have to be the case.

According to Gallup, two-thirds of employees are not engaged at work. That means most of the workforce is checked out in their companies. They are just going through the motions and are not reaching their potential. Remember that the potential of your organizations rests in your team.

One of the first steps you can take is to engage with your direct reports individually. I am not talking about a quick call or chat once a quarter, but regularly scheduled one-on-ones. These regular meetings provide great value for your team and also silence some negative ideas your team may have about you. Here are three ideas that one-on-ones will silence.

1. My boss doesn’t have time for me.
It is true that as a leader you may not have time for everyone in the organization, but you should have time for your direct reports. Once you set up one-on-one with your team, you send a message to each of them that you have time for them.

This can make a world of difference when your team members know that they have a set time to meet with you. You have to decide ahead of time how frequent the meetings are, but be consistent with the schedule.

2. My boss doesn’t care.
Setting aside time to meet with a team member to talk about what is going on in their world shows you care about them. Every person needs someone who uniquely cares for and encourages them; you can be that person.

During your time with them, part of your conversation should be about their development. When you invest in what matters to your team, they will be more willing to invest in what matters to you.

3. My boss is out of touch with what I am experiencing at work.
One on ones is a great way to “nip in the bud” challenging situations at work. Instead of dealing with a blowup that has been building for months or longer, your team member can let you know how they are feeling during your one-on-ones. This is so important for your company’s culture.

When I talk with employees of companies, a consistent theme is that their boss doesn’t understand their perspectives. They feel that their boss is out of touch with how they are feeling. This separation could possibly be solved by consistent meetings.

While meeting with your team won’t solve every issue you are facing, it will silence quite a few ideas. When your team feels that you have time for them, care for them, and understand how they are feeling, you will get more engaged employees.

Take out your calendar, and decide what times you could block off to have consistent meetings with your team.