This is not just the era of information. In fact at times we have an overload of the same. What we actually need is accurate detailed information. Often that’s what is missing. As a result some of our issues at hand both at work and home are dealt rather superficially, without much of research and digging deeper towards the core of the issue at hand. The more information we get the better are the results. It allows us to reach the most suitable and effective decisions in life –in general and in businesses.
This article is trying to illustrate how employee performance can be enhanced by sharing and giving out in-depth information before assigning a task. What happens when it is limited or not shared adequately.
In business and management information is omnipotent. It touches upon almost all the sectors :-
1- Goals- we need detailed information to establish and achieve the goal.
2- Communication- It’s the backbone of communication method and technique
3- Motivation- as the motivators need the right information to motivate.
4- Feedback- provides information for future change and development.
What happens when the information is limited and not comprehensive enough?
Let’s try and understand What type of problems are caused if the detailed information required is not available.
Let's take a real life situation to understand this concept better.
How many times did you receive this question from your employee?- Why do I have to work on this task?
This question should immediately sent off a trigger that there is a limitation in the information your employee has and is trying to figure out the benefit of the assigned task or if it brings any value to the table. Unable to see the benefits the employee has reached out to you with a WHY? Why should this task be performed in the first place?
Here we have a problem in hand. However is it a major problem?
No, The main problem is when you can’t answer the question and point out the relevance of the task and the value it will add to the bigger picture. You as a responsible leader have to ask yourself this question not only before it is by your employee, but during setting the organizational and the departmental goals; why does my employee have to work on this task? And what is the point of achieving this task?
Employee Based Management sees “Why Question” as a valuable tool for finding out what lies behind the matter. The digging technique is considered the tool for doing so, as by asking the Why-Questions each time you reach the original reasons behind the task.
The more you share, the reasoning behind the assigned tasks, in other words information and explain the goals that need to be reached via the tasks, with the assignee the better the result and performance.
Let’s say you created a task (T) for your employee
1. Find out the top level reasons which in this case are A, B, C.
2. Answering A,B,C will give a deeper understanding of the task in hand and probably give rise to the second level of questions.
3. The same WHY question will be repeated with the reasons you get from the second level. Here in these third level reasons you will come up with valuable reasons.
4.The third level reasons is not the final stage, but the process is ongoing till you reach the link between the task and the organizational goals.
5.Find a correlation between the different levels of reasoning the correlation maybe direct or indirect – link first level reasons with second level reasons with third level reasons and so on.
The Digging technique and the Performance
Having detailed information is not only necessary for what needs to be done as a “Task” but also for why these results took place? What are the main and deeper reasons behind these results?
Let’s say you have an employee-X in your dept.-Y the Performance Equation is:
P = A + B
P- is the employee- X performance
A and B: are the components of the performance which you know.
The question here is; to which degree you know both of these components?
If you know A by 70% and B by 80%, so we can say that you control P by 75%, which means 25% of your employee’s performance isn’t controllable by you. What you can’t control, you can’t predict.
So how to get this 25% ration back to the controlled area?
When you start working on your employees performance try to find new areas to measure and new ratios to get…the more you break the performance into its initial reasons and causes the more you control it and the more deeper you go or dig down into newer levels.
The deeper analysis will give you the opportunity to breakdown the performance deeper and get to a better reasoning as to the WHY of the task.
What about if there are other factors impacting the performance or play a direct role in shaping the performance but you don’t know.
Let’s say ; P = A + B + C
A, B and C are components impacting the performance.
The next stage after finding the roots and the reasons is to translate them into number.
A represents 33.75% B represents 58.68% C represents 7.57%
That is the best way to know where you have to focus and where you have to invest your time and your resources.
What is the benefit of using the Digging Technique (DT)?
1. Finding out what lies behind the task, will help you be more meaningful to your employee.
2. Engaging your employee with the organization will be based on realistic reasons.
3. Your employee will feel the importance of the tasks assigned.
4. It is a practical implementation of “My Employee is My Strategic Partner”.
5. Your employee will be useful and effective to the organization and will add value to the organization, which also means “innovation”.
Digging technique is an approach to perfect control. Don’t forget to keep on digging
Written byHazem Hassan
Hazem Hassan the founder of Employee Based Management, has a great passion about the importance of the human capital and implementing the mathematics rules in improving the management process. He studied Human Resource Management in the American University in Cairo, studied agriculture engineering at Alexandria University. Worked at PEPSICO as an HR Specialist. He won the SAHM prize for best article on human resource management