Every organization follows a different path in achieving its mission, while sharing five qualities that boost the chances of success. All employees in effective organizations know their roles and what is expected of them. Advanced planning is routine practice, with project teams given specific tasks to implement. At the same time, management monitors employees and provides regular feedback on how well they are doing, with incentives given to those who distinguish themselves.
Advance planning is essential for effectiveness. This means setting clear, measurable and achievable standards to help employees achieve organizational goals, according to a summary posted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, or OPM. Employees are held accountable for key work assignments during various stages of a project. The agency recommends involving employees early in the planning process, so they understand what needs to be done, why it must be done and how well it should be done.
Instead of overburdening employees with multiple tasks, efficiently run organizations break them down into definable actions and lay down a map road for implementing them. This is the approach promoted by organizational gurus like David Allen, whose Getting It Done program works to reduce information overload at the workplace, Time magazine reported in March 2007. By this reasoning, companies will reach peak efficiency by deciding which tasks are truly important or merely peripheral.
Continued monitoring of employees is needed to determine whether they are meeting an organization's expectations for their performance. According to OPM's summary, this goal is accomplished by giving regular feedback to employees, who can compare their work against predetermined standards. Regular feedback allows organizations to address unacceptable performance more quickly, and take steps to address it. Conversely, management can also change standards that appear problematic or unrealistic to achieve, according to OPM's summary.
Once a project starts, each participant must know their responsibilities to ensure its success. Millville, Pennsylvania residents followed this model in forming a committee to study the village's future. Working with staff from Pennsylvania State University's Cooperative Extension Service, the committee broke into teams responsible for specific tasks. These tasks included fundraising, goal-setting, and public education about the committee's work. Each team then had to develop its own progress report.
No organization can thrive without rewarding the employees who contribute collectively and individually to its mission. Such recognition is a natural part of the daily work experience, and stems from the idea that all behaviors have positive and negative consequences, according to OPM's summary. Companies reward exemplary performance through incentives like cash, time off and non-monetary items. Rewards systems can also recognize a variety of contributions, from suggestions to group accomplishments, according to the summary.
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