Your Standards are what you tolerate. Maintaining standards is a critical management philosophy that will assist you in driving towards high performance. When your employees are not performing, here are the steps you can take to analyze why that performance is lower than the standard.
When employees are not performing, the first place to look is to your definition of what you would like for them to do. Too many job descriptions are vague or contain perceptions instead of clear behaviors. Do your job descriptions include standards? You may be experiencing low performance due to the lack of clarity of your standards. Define “professional” “courteous” and “immediately” and then your employees will have a clearer understanding of what you expect them to do.
If you look around your workplace and find that people are not dressed professionally or eating in the work environment or communicating in ways that do not meet your expectations. When someone does not follow the dress code, is this communicated to the employee? If Supervisors are not holding employees accountable for following the standard, then the employees will do as much as they think they can get away with. People’s performance only rises to the highest level of tolerance of your standards, not to the standards themselves.
Once you create clearly defined standards and you teach your supervisors how to communicate the desired level of performance, you must ensure that you instill the consequences for lack of performance. Employees need to trust that you will do what you say you are going to do. If they know the policy and you do not follow through on the consequences, employees will lose respect for your organization. Employees need to trust that you will do what you say you are going to do- both positive and negative things. If employees observe you following the policies with some employees but not others, they will feel that you treat them unfairly. If they perceive a level of unfairness, they will become irritated and disgruntled. Then this can lead to unnecessary time being spent on HR related issues. By following these three general rules of standards, you will increase your levels of performance, increase your productivity, increase your morale and create a great place to work for everyone.