Understand & Motivate…You Will Receive Better Quality Output

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So you are planning to have a performance discussion with your employees about being more dependable. What behaviors will you associate with this trait? Will you be able to explain what “dependable” means by giving your employees examples of specific things they do or don’t do? Or will your explanation primarily include more traits. For example:

“Dependability means to be reliable, to be punctual, to be responsible, to be available, etc.”

If you offer examples of what you mean, your employees will have a clear picture of your performance expectations. So you are more likely to get the change in behaviors you want. If you primarily use synonyms (i.e. more traits) to describe what you mean, behaviors are subject to “personal interpretation.” In other words, what represents dependable behaviors to you might not necessary represent the same thing to your employees. So you may or may not get the performance you want.

So why not increase your chances of performance improvement by being specific? Below are seven examples of dependable behaviors. Add these to your list of examples if you already have some; or start with these if you don’t.

1. Arrives at locations, meetings, or events on time

2. Completes individual assignments on time

3. Gives information to coworkers, colleagues, or superiors on time

4.Offers help when personal workload is low, but coworkers’ workload is high

5. Responds to customers’ requests in a timely manner

6. Adheres to rules, regulations, or procedures

7. Works toward the achievement of achievement of team, office, or organizational goals

Customize Your “Dependability” Behaviors

To create your customized list of “dependable” behaviors, think about the areas where you need employees’ support the most, and think about why you need their support. Do you depend on employees to arrive at meetings on time so you can end meetings on time? Or perhaps you depend on employees to respond timely to customers’ requests so you can meet goals of service excellence. Dependability covers many areas. You can create a vast list of examples by identifying the behaviors you want and the impact of those behaviors.

Clear Performance Behaviors Lead To Better Performance

Your management goal is to motivate employees to deliver the kind of performance that will help you achieve workplace goals. If your employees have a clear understanding of your performance expectations, you are more likely to achieve your management goal. When you talk about the importance of being dependable, offer examples that include performance behaviors. If you do, you will increase the likelihood that what represents “dependable behaviors” to you will represent the same thing to your employees.

Author: Barbara Brown, PhD

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