By ANN ELLIOTT
Puzzled managers wonder why employees fail to accomplish important goals. Dismayed business owners see promising players give lack luster performances. Without realizing it, leaders create barriers to success.
When you unwittingly set up your employees to fail, everyone feels the repercussions. Mistakes happen frequently and expensive do-overs affect not only the bottom line but also morale. It is embarrassing and customers take their business to your competitors. Good employees leave to find supportive work environments.
As a leader, your role is to remove roadblocks so those around you can succeed. Some reasons for unnecessary failure include the following:
- People are not trained properly for the work they are expected to do
- Goals are misunderstood or do not exist
- Inadequate resources are available to accomplish the work
- People are afraid to ask for help
I am coaching an executive who expressed frustration because her manager said he wanted her to “increase the number of customers.” Every business wants to increase the number of customers. How many customers does it take? Are there any parameters to the method to increase the number of customers? My client who is relatively new to her job does not feel comfortable asking for help. Now this scenario is a real set up and it’s not for success.
Some guidelines to help others succeed include but are not limited to the following:
- Hire the right people for the right job
- Provide training and coaching to develop skills
- Clearly identify and state goals
- Involve those responsible for achieving the goals in setting the goals
- Get updates regularly on progress
- Establish a culture where people can ask for help at any level
- Provide adequate resources to accomplish the goal
- Expect people to be accountable
- Celebrate successes along the way
- Be willing to abandon the pursuit of a goal that proves unwise
Smart leaders know that they need other people to help them succeed. When was the last time you asked, “How can I help you?” and listened carefully for the answer? Set ‘em up for success and everyone wins.