Clarity is in high demand in the workplace today but unfortunately, it’s in short supply. Organizational clarity begins at the top and with everything leaders have on their plate right now, it’s difficult to find time to think strategically.
In this blog post we’ll be sharing why clarity is vital and needs to be a Q1 leadership priority. We’ll also discuss what leaders should ask themselves in order to gain clarity and key metrics to use when measuring success.
Leadership teams need to be clear on their organizational priorities in order to create healthy collaboration, alignment, and employee motivation. It is the most powerful indicator of an organization’s success.
A trait many leaders exhibit is the feeling they need to always make the right decision. In today’s ever-changing world, this is simply impossible. The need to be precise and correct often leads to muddy expectations for their employees. Deliverables are not made clear and vague directions often come from waiting to find the right answer. Leaders should note the only loss that comes from being wrong is pride!
If decisions are made with the goal of creating clarity and they turn out to be wrong when more information becomes available, change your game plan and provide your team with an explanation. Employees are looking for authentic and transparent leadership. Leaders should focus on clarity instead of trying to be right all the time.
Over the past 20 years, collaborative activities in the office have increased by over 50 percent. That might seem like an accomplishment but unfortunately the majority of the collaboration is dysfunctional & ineffective. This is where organizational clarity can help save the day.
Consider the following four metrics when looking to improve clarity for your team.
1. Establish Connection for Collaboration
Did you know some of the greatest work goes through informal structures rather than through traditional organizational structures such as roles, functional teams, and hierarchies? Effective collaboration cannot be achieved if formal approaches are the only approach to getting work done.
Collaboration is improved if your employees are connected through tasks, cross-functional projects, goals, and across various channels. Many leaders often struggle with understanding the wide-reaching importance of connection.
There is no doubt that building connection has been more difficult in the past two years; however, with motivation, commitment, and intention, it is possible. One great way to facilitate remote team collaboration is using whiteboard tools like Mural or Miro; they are a great way allow your team to feel like they are truly working together.
By providing visibility, leaders ensure their team members understand and are able to track how their work impacts and contributes to company goals, as well as your company mission. Many organizations and teams do not have this level of visibility.
Team members need their work output to be visible and should be provided with the proper tools to measure this output over time. Programs that assess workload distribution are fundamental in order to gain work output visibility.
This type of visibility will enable leaders and employees to identify when task, project, and goal performance are heading in the wrong direction. Employees will be empowered to adopt a data-driven approach when assessing their work performance.
3. Boost Efficiency
Productivity and efficiency go hand in hand, but don’t combine them into one. Productivity is output per unit of time, and efficiency is the best possible output per unit of time. It’s about doing the right tasks in the best way possible.
A lack of clarity often leads to team members feeling overworked and burnt out.
Efficiency cannot be enabled without connectivity and visibility. When all employees are connected across various tasks and projects, efficiency peaks and continues to be fuelled by visibility. You’ll be provided with visibility on how work happens when you build workflows and integrations that leverage automation and AI to empower more efficient work. Don’t waste time working on things that could be done effectively and efficiently by technology.
4. Create Alignment
Creating alignment from the top is essential and crucial in maintaining a healthy organization. Nothing is more frustrating for team members than having to navigate the confusion caused by leaders who are misaligned. Even the smallest rift between executive team members can have an overwhelming trickle down effect onto employees.
Organizations and teams need to be able to have the right conversation at the right time. There are six key questions that need to be answered by all leadership teams looking to achieve organizational clarity. They are a great way to ensure your team and company have clarity and are aligned from the top down. These questions come from the book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni.
Six Clarity Questions:
- Why do we exist?
- What do we do?
- How will we behave?
- What’s most important right now?
- How will we succeed?
- Who does what?
Although these seem like easy questions yet they can be difficult to answer. In order to come up with meaningful and true answers, some deep thinking is required. You might find yourself on a different page from your team members and fellow team leaders. Answering these questions will provide a framework for decision making.
How do you answer these questions?
Don’t pull out company values or an old mission statement. Host a meeting with your leadership team and have everyone write their answers down, then have a round table discussion. Encourage your employees to share their honest answers. During this meeting, actively listen to what each person has to say. All the pieces will need to fit together. The answers need to be simple and clear, articulate goals to be achieved and what is required to achieve them. When the high level alignment is achieved it will improve your team’s organizational health.
Through answering these six questions, you will have created organizational clarity. This will have a significant positive impact on your company! Answering the questions is not enough! You must ensure your leaders communicate, and over-communicate the answers to their teams, so the insight becomes clear through your entire organization.
With the shift to remote and hybrid work over the past few years, clarity is in short supply and in high demand. When leadership teams take the time to become clear themselves, and share that clarity with others, it eliminates confusion and creates alignment. It minimizes duplicate work, endless emails, extra meetings, frustrations, wasted money, and more.
Clarity is key if you want to truly empower your employees for success.
How will you be implementing the six questions into your organization? Share your thoughts below.
At NexLevel, we’re experts in building healthy organizations through cohesive teams and engaged employees. We will help you and your employees become the high-performance team you’ve always wanted to be by focusing on collaboration, creativity, culture, and connection.