Why Greater Clarity Will Resolve Most Staffing Issues

I want you to consider this question …

At work, I clearly understand what’s expected of me.” 

From strongly agree to strongly disagree, where would you place yourself on this scale?

Gallup, an organization that has researched organizational success for many years, has found that the answer to this statement can predict a high performing individual on a team.

Because clarity drives performance.

When we work with church teams, it’s common in our conversations for us to ask the question, ​“How do you define success for your role?”​ Or, ​“How do you know when you’ve achieved a ‘win’ at work?

Typically, we are met with a sheepish smile and this response: ​“Hmm, that’s a really good question.”​ 

The reality is, most team members just don’t know what their target is or if they are routinely hitting it. 

Clarity provides a target.

Sometimes, we see frustration. It stems from not knowing what they “should” be achieving or where they “should” be focusing their energy. They often invest a lot of effort, time, and activity without seeing much impact. 

It’s actually not unusual to hear multiple team members in the same church thinking they have responsibility for the same win. Best way to starve your family’s pet dog? Assign four family members to feed it. ​

Clarity provides accountability. 

The point is—when each of your team members has clear wins, you release them to do their best work. They can be confident of their target and how to measure where they might still need work. Frustration decreases and your team performs more effectively. ​

So what’s one simple action step you can take towards creating clarity?

Goal Setting. 

It’s not-so-earth shattering, but providing focus and clarity on the most important work you should be accomplishing can lead to surprising wins for your team. 

For many years, the catch phrase in goal setting was SMART goals (specificmeasurableachievablerelevant, and time-bound). At The Unstuck Group, we prefer FAST goals:

1. Frequently Discussed

In order for a goal to be effective, it must be frequently discussed. 

“Frequently discussed” challenges the old notion of creating a goal in January only to file it away until the time comes for year-end reviews. Without frequently discussing goals and corresponding progress, goals quickly become irrelevant.

2. Ambitious

Ambitious recognizes the fact that goals should be challenging but not impossible to achieve.

Setting ambitious goals requires checking in to determine what support your team members need to achieve their goals.

3. Specific

Goals need to be specific. 

This allows you to see what specifically should be accomplished and in what time frame.

4. Transparent

Transparent means that goals should be public for your team and other leaders to see. In addition to providing accountability, transparency also reduces the likelihood of duplication or overlap in team members’ goals.

When you put these four components together, they clarify each team member’s wins and how to measure progress against them, ultimately clarifying the role and building towards a healthy and high-performing team.

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This article originally appeared on TheUnstuckGroup.com and is reposted here by permission.