Comm Series #12: What People Need to Know (4)

30 Mar


The last three posts we have over-viewed “what employees need to know” to maximize their job performance.

People at work need to understand three sets of information:

• Their jobs

• How their jobs contribute to the work; product and/or service

• The “big picture”

These categories also define who has the primary responsibility for assuring that employees understand this information.

The responsibility for understanding the job is jointly shared by the immediate manager and the employee.  Employees who understand they have a stake in their performance are more effective than those who have the attitude “just show me what to do.”

How the job contributes to work is the shared responsibility of the managers who own the process.  This almost always includes the first level managers and where the organization is larger, their bosses.  These are the people who essentially own the process of work.  How many managers understand this?

Communicating the overall condition of the organization is the responsibility of executives.  How they frame and present this information can motivate or de-motivate employees.  One critical point, executives should always share this information with their managers before they tell employees.  To bypass managers is discourteous and confuses the organization.

The allocation of responsibility in organizations is often communicated implicitly, it needs to be explicit.

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