Build Commitment - Part 2

Last month I talked about how to build commitment by asking questions during performance conversations with your employees.

This month I will give you a brief list of 10 important commitment-building techniques any manager can use (use it as a checklist).

Keep in mind though - that in order to really build commitment - as a leader, you must use all of them (not just a few).

1) Feedback - most managers I know don't know how to properly use this tool (in case you are wondering, here is an article that will tell you exactly how to use this performance management tool).

2) Clear-cut job description - I often find that employees don't have clarity about their roles, nor crystal-clear understanding about their level of authority and responsibility.

3) SMART goals - People must clearly know what their boss and/or their team and/or their organization expects of them (many people ask me: "what does SMART mean?" - if you are one of them, click here to find out).

4) Match between job functions and skills - both hard skills and soft skills (the job for your employee must not be too easy nor too difficult, but challenging enough to keep it interesting).

5) Big-picture understanding - that is, your employee must clearly understand how her individual contribution impacts the end user, the organization's strategic vision, and the bottom line.

6) Clarity of purpose - team members must know not only what they are doing, but also why they are doing it - why it is meaningful and why they should care.

7) You as the leader must be a role model - in other words, you must be committed to your organization's core Values, Mission, and Vision - and above all, you must have integrity.

8) You as the leader must be able to create a 100 per cent open communication environment - to talk about being confused, or having a problem, or with getting resources, etc. (this does not mean that you are going to solve the problem on the spot, but at least recognize that there is a problem). Without a real open communication environment, no amount of work on you part will create commitment (click here to find out about what open communication means and the implications for you when your communication environment is not 100 per cent open).

9) Quality of peer / subordinate relationship - teach empathy by being yourself (disclose appropriate personal information) and treat people as human beings - take the time on every meeting to check what is going on with every team member, ask not only about tasks but also about personal information in an appropriate way (the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because of the poor quality of their relationship with their boss).

10) Your team members must unmistakably perceive three things during your team's decision-making process: 1) They must feel that their individual input was genuinely considered in the final decision. 2) They must clearly understand the logic behind the final decision. And 3) They must perceive that the final decision is for the common good - not for the good of just a few (the final decision must be clean, not corrupted).

Note: If you do all of this, you will find that you won't be working harder, but rather, that you will be working more effectively (a committed workforce goes a very long way).

Conclusion: When you incorporate these simple techniques in your performance management toolkit, your will have built a level of commitment that will outperform your most optimistic expectations.

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Most recent 12 "Leader Newsletter" issues:
How to build Commitment
Culture IS a Leadership Tool
Mission versus Missionlessness
Task versus Relationship
Mentoring versus Coaching
Addendum to "Change and Grow"
Change and Grow
Firefighting Management
The Soft Skills are the Hard Skills
Friendship versus Performance
Does a leader need intuition?
First leadership book I would give to a new manager

See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
September 6, 2011. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month

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