Align Behaviors with Goals & Values

Studer Education

Relationships Over Data

As a new leader in an organization or role, it’s important to gain a deep understanding of the data, measures, and goals related to your work. But remember the data is not more important than the people. Be aware of your attitudes, behaviors, and energy; these days set the tone for your future and establish credibility. Act transparently and be open with people. Avoid any temptation to isolate yourself or focus on data over relationships. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try inviting a colleague to lunch away from the office.

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You Get To

Stop yourself from thinking you “have” to do something, and start thinking about things like you “get” to do them. This shift in perspective supports a positive and grateful mindset.

For Example: I have to take the kids to school daily. Becomes: I get to spend extra time with my children each morning driving them to school safely in my vehicle. 

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Hold “Renters” Accountable

Identify employees you lead who could improve their ownership behaviors and help them develop plans for improvement. Clearly explain the impact of their behavior on the organization, their colleagues, and those they serve. Set clear expectations for adherence to ownership behavior.  Establish a timeline for improvement and clearly communicate the consequences of continued negative behavior.

 

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Address Poor Performance

High performers want to work in organizations with other high performers. When leaders avoid addressing low performers, high and solid performers notice sub-par performers aren’t keeping up and can become frustrated, sometimes to the point that they will choose to leave the department or organization. It’s not fair for your team of high and solid performers to carry the low performers, its crucial to address low performer behavior quickly and effectively to retain high performers.

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Identify Themes in Survey Results

During Results Rollout, present the 3 highest items, the 3 lowest items, and themes derived from additional comments. While reviewing comments, remember to look for productive information that can be used for improvements. Don’t focus on vague statements like “communication is poor,” seek to identify the common themes across all stakeholders surveyed.

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Connect to Serve

When leaders help their teams connect their daily work to a greater purpose, people become motivated to serve. Behind all of the daily tasks, what is the ultimate outcome and what actions can your team take to get there? Help your team connect to purpose while providing clear directions for serving stakeholders.

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Qualities of a Mentor

Look for a mentor who is honest, vulnerable, and has experience aligned to your goals. Seek to learn from their mistakes and accomplishments. Have they demonstrated success? Is their career path similar to the direction you envision for yourself? Are they respected amongst their peers?

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Approach Transparency Proactively

Reacting to a negative situation isn’t transparency. To build trust and loyalty with employees and the organization’s community, leaders can use open, honest communication to let individuals know about your processes, values, and the customer or employee experience, therefore holding it accountable. How can you approach transparency in a more proactive manner? What will you do this week to promote open, honest communication?

 

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Align Actions to Strengths

When aligning the goals of the organization to actions for specific employees, first consider each employee’s strengths. To increase employee engagement and productivity, distribute the actions according to each individual’s strengths.

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What’s Working Well?

Analyze what is working well on your teams and with individuals to determine what actions lead to the greatest results. Incorporate more of what’s working well into the team’s upcoming strategic actions.

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Illustrate Goals Visually

Use a scorecard, stoplight report, or another tool to visually present yearly goals. This tool can be used in meetings to show the progress toward goals and make necessary adjustments if progress isn’t being made. Achieving goals becomes more likely if we have a constant focus on the actions being taken to attain success.

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Evaluate Your Recognition

Is recognition in your organization leader-driven or employee-driven? Do rewards align with the recommended behaviors and values of the organization? How often do individuals get recognition? More than once per year? Evaluate your recognition processes at least once per year and strive to make recognition as employee-centered and engaging as possible.

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Weekly Connections

Connect with your team once a week for 10-15 minutes. Each member reports: one win/progress made, what step they’re taking next, and any potential barriers to achieving their goal.

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The Right Fit

To determine if a candidate’s attitudes and beliefs align with the organization’s values, develop behavior-based interview questions. Ask for examples of situations that provide information about the candidate’s attitudes and personality. Example: Tell us about a time when you worked on a team and experienced success. What was the situation? What made it successful?

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Reply or Reply All?

Reply to all emails addressed to you, but be careful when responding “Reply all.” This can be irritating to those who don’t need the reply. Before hitting send, reread the message and the “TO” box of recipients. The “CC” or copy line is just for information; they’re not part of the conversation.

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Identify the Actions

Which actions will produce 80% of the quarterly goal results? Identifying which actions produces the majority of the results will align individual behavior to organizational goals.

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Find A Solution

If you and a coworker don’t agree, ask your coworker what they think the right solution might be. You can choose to accept it or find a way to compromise by adding a solution to their answer that pleases you.

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Take Action

Next time you have a problem, before approaching the boss, be proactive and bring a solution or two or three with you.

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Examine the Competition

Identify 3 things you need to do to analyze your organization’s competition and 3 things you need to do to prepare your team to win.

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Stick to the 24-Hour Rule

Return communication within 24 hours of it being received. Consider simply acknowledging that you received the communication and provide a time-frame for an answer in the future, if you are unable to respond in detail immediately.

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Goals Should Be Easy to See

Define your goals, write them down, and stay focused on them. Be distinctive and specific. You should be able to tell anyone your goals in a sentence or two. During your daily tasks, ask yourself which goal you are working towards accomplishing.

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Prepare for a Reaction

Before you act today, think ahead to the reaction you may receive. There is a reaction to every action, including the act of decision making.

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Your Email Can Wait

What is the difference between busy and productive? Are we busy each day but not productive? Minimize your “busy-work” tasks and email checking by doing those at the very beginning and very end of the day. This strategy will help you focus on completing work that aligns directly to your goals.

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Work Towards Annual Goals Daily

Break your 90-day goals down to weekly goals and monitor your progress each week. 90-day planning focuses on the 90-day priorities and actions that will move you closer to achievement of your annual goals. Viewing annual goals in smaller portions will keep you aligned to the right goals.

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Guide to Purpose

Leaders help all employees find purpose in their work. Connect employees to what’s most meaningful to them. Ask, “What did you enjoy working on this past year? Why?” Then, help them align their upcoming goals to the organization’s overall strategy, using their response.

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