I read a quote earlier this week that has really stuck in my head…
“Employees are drowning in information but thirsting for clarity and purpose”
Paul Barton Communications
I believe this is one of the fundamental challenges workplaces have today. The social world has opened the door to a myriad of information and contact points from across the globe. But it so easy to get overwhelmed and literally feel like you are drowning in all this information. I certainly do. First thing I do when I hit the office (or hit the home study as the case may be) is check all my social media channels and our internal Connections community… next thing I know, I’m following links, reading articles, jumping from one place to another. On one hand, it is inspiring and exciting, I keep finding new bits of information to add to my program or someone elses ideas will spark ideas with me. But on the other hand, it is so hard to keep focused, to keep coming back to the realities of my little world and what I need to achieve.
So, leaders in organisations have SUCH a critical role now in driving the clarity and purpose that employees need to keep heading in the right direction. Provide the freedom required to let them network and be inspired by those around them but then keep bringing them back to your organisation, your purpose. This isn’t a new concept, I remember in Manager training many many years ago, we talked about the importance of employees having clarity in their roles. Infact, if you fail to provide clarity as a leader, everything else becomes irrelevant.
It helps when a leader embraces social and uses it to help regain that clarity…I’ve seen great leaders posting weekly blogs to their teams telling them what they are working and providing structure for the week. Others using micro-blogging techniques to share relevant information in real time, short sharp and easy for teams to digest. Then, of course, connecting more personally to ensure that each individual employee is on their track, that they have found personal motivation in what they are doing but can all clearly see how their work fits into the overall organisations vision.
I personally have to keep bringing myself back to my purpose. I have stuck my job description onto the whiteboard (yes people, in all the passion and excitement I literally forget what I’m supposed to be doing sometimes!) and each morning after my usual dig around in the social world (sometimes I need to put a timer on to bring myself back), I write down anything I’ve learnt or things I want to remember, then I pull out my trusty “to do” list which helps to re-focus my mind back to things I need to achieve my work goals for the day and ultimately for the organisation.
Do you get the clarity you need to get the job done?