Have you ever been reading and following complicated instructions requiring faith as you step through placing widget into widget not knowing why but hoping for a good outcome? In business there are typically two types of employees. Those that possess the how knowledge and the ones that understand why and can see the outcome.
The how employee knows the steps to carry out tasks that bring revenue to the company. For example, they know how to check out a customer, change a tire, help someone on the phone find an answer, and on and on. The how people will understand what their job is and can get it done in a timely and efficient manner. Find a how employee and you have someone that understands what it takes to do the day-to-day business.
Then there are the “why” employees who know the reason the company exists and its growth strategies. Management at all levels typically fall into this category. The why people will be connected to the mission statement and know why the business is carried out a certain way and what will happen if it isn’t.
In the well-balanced company smart owners and manager will ensure that everyone understands the why of the business to some level. The goals and strategies will be well defined and visible. A morale killer is to be assigned a job without some level of understanding of how it fits into the scheme of the company.
Seeing how their job aligns with the mission statement will only serve to make better and more loyal workers. The why people also need to understand the role of the how people. Employees will react in a positive manner when they hear management asking about their job and showing interest in what they do.
How does this interaction take place? It starts with good communication. Management can ask the workers about the job they do to open dialogue. Perform the job together if possible. Then identify why a task is being done, document it and review regularly. From this exercise every process and action in the company can be confirmed as adding value. A second way is to ask employees if they understand the why’s of the company. A regular survey will be helpful. Then when opportunities for change and growth arise, the two will work together for the right solution.
Ted Saul is a business coach that assists with Business Plans and Project Management. He earned is MBA from Regis University along with a masters in project management. He is also ITIL 4.0 certified. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn or emailing TedSaulbiz@gmail.com.