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How To Gain Traction When Standards Are Slipping At Work

Posted on Jul 8, 2020
By Kerry Anne Nelson
2 min read
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The need to ensure and enhance employee productivity is a reality no business can ignore. If you run a business you’ll want to lean away from doing the mundane and routine when you can. However, you’ll inevitably encounter factors that may weaken or extinguish your business’s standards and employee motivation which ultimately dampen productivity.

You will need to mitigate these productivity killers. Identify these factors, so you can consciously prevent them from emerging or aggravating. Whether you’re holding high standards or letting them slide, these are the three ways to create improvement:

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Define the high standard

What does a good job look like? What is the ideal outcome in any given situation? What is that task going to look like when it’s finished in the best way that it could be done, Define exactly what the high standard is, and then define exactly how to achieve those high standards. What are the steps of the process to guarantee that you can always maintain that high-quality output? Defining the high standard and how to reach it is the first step in making sure that slipping standards don’t become a new level of mediocrity.

Document the practice

You need to document the ideal outcome and then document the steps to achieve that outcome. It might look like instruction videos or checklists that guarantee every part of the process is followed every single time. Documenting the best business processes will bring you on your way to creating high standards that never sleep.

Defend the outcome

This looks like setting up maintenance schedules, setting up KPIs and maintaining accountability, making sure that everything that needs to be done to defend the implementation of that higher standard is being done in your work. It means rewarding great performance. This is not about micromanagement but rather ensuring that people’s work is being acknowledged and that people are getting support when they need it to do a great job. It means having great communication around the workplace, and tools to ensure that performance is tracked. So when you go to maintain high standards and make sure that they do not slip, you need to document how it’s going to be achieved and then defend it at all costs across every area of your business operations.

In every business, it is important to establish standards. Employees should be familiar with what the company expects from them. They need to know what they should be doing as well as their assigned roles. Without clear or explicit expectations, people tend to find excuses when they fail to achieve targets. Be clear at the outset: define what you expect of everyone, and how you expect people to perform their assigned tasks and responsibilities.

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Kerry Anne Nelson
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About Kerry Anne Nelson

Kerry Anne Nelson is the founder of Operation Verve and is a qualified first-class Honours graduate with more than 8 years of experience in education.

Kerry Anne Nelson is a workplace processes architect and uses her Lean Six Sigma training to maximise her years of experience in business management, education, and team leadership to help clients achieve lasting business growth.