Today’s shift to a hybrid workforce has some enlightened companies embracing a management model in which they focus on the outcome and impact of people’s work, not how many hours they spend in the office or sitting at their computer. It’s a model that requires managers to provide clear performance results that employees must achieve, allowing them to work however they want, as long as they achieve their performance goals.
This strategy aims to empower employees to be completely accountable for their work. It isn’t the same thing as flexible work, which assumes that there are still standards regarding when and where work occurs. In a management model based on outcomes, hours and location only matter if they’re tied to the employee’s ability to achieve their results. Here are some tips on how to implement a results-based management system at your company.
Define success for each role
Begin by defining what each employee is expected to produce and by being very clear about what constitutes high performance for each role. Spell out metrics of productivity, service and quality that indicate successful performance. Weight these metrics based on the role itself make sure they’re actual indicators of success, not arbitrary measures like hours worked. Employees can’t be accountable if they don’t know their expected performance outcomes.
Train managers to manage work, not people
Don’t waste your time micromanaging when, where and how employees work. Instead, communicate expectations and coach employees to drive business results themselves. When you set specific parameters (like production targets and deadlines), and then have productive, work-focused conversations with your team, you help them effectively manage the workload and identify roadblocks to success. Your role is to facilitate the right balance of accountability and autonomy for each of you reports.
Let the work drive process
Keep your processes focused on supporting your big-picture business strategy. Identify the customer-centric business results your organization must achieve, and work backward from there to develop techniques that drive those results. When your primary focus is on achieving work outcomes, it’s easier to gain clarity around processes. Communication processes are more productive, too, because they’re driven by the work.
In a results-focused work environment, it’s easy to see what matters. Quality and productivity become more important than hours worked or time spent on a project. All that really matters is the quality of the final results. When organizations focus on what matters most, employees become empowered to drive business results.