In the daily struggle to produce and complete the myriad of tasks assigned, all can be guilty of ignoring Quality for the sake of Quantity. But at the end of each day, we need to ask ourselves, “What value did I bring to the organization today?” Work is not always about checking items off our list. Some days, we may not accomplish one thing on our to-do list, yet we provide tremendous value to the organization. Those are the days that we focus on Quality, not just Quantity.
As managers, this struggle affects not only us, but our employees as well. How do we lead by example and help our teams focus on quality service?
- Don’t micromanage. Allow employees to control their own work flow but provide clear deadlines and expectations.
- Consistently evaluate growth and forecast personnel needs. When stress is high and work is overloaded, it is easy to just fill a seat. However, take the time necessary to evaluate future needs. Does the company need another team member or would a team manager be the best approach for the future?
- When a “star” employee comes around, managers are often guilty of piling on extra work. The employee is so competent and seems to be able to handle anything. However, everyone has a breaking point. As a manager, it is our job to set employees up for success, not failure.
- Avoid the busywork trap. There is a feeling of accomplishment when we are able to complete a task, no matter how menial it may be. It is human nature to avoid the long, hard jobs and take care of the quick, easy ones. As managers, we must recognize this in ourselves and help our team as well. Work with employees to prioritize tasks based on value and maintain an open dialogue. Be prepared to switch responsibilities in order to provide the best Quality work for the company.
All employees need to provide value to the organization every day. True value is measured by results not just busy work. Quality work is more valuable than Quantity work. As leaders, we need to model this value-driven behavior to help our employees succeed.