Achieving high quality output from staff:
How often have you heard a manager say, “If I didn’t check and edit the work it would’ve gone to the client (internal or external) with some glaring mistakes?”
So my question is how to achieve high quality output from your staff and contractors. This is a common problem from small to large organizations in different countries and cultures and levels of staff from unskilled, inexperienced to seasoned professionals.
This is not something specifically addressed in Manager Tools but I will answer as I understand the application of the Manager Tools model. I’m not sure this is a complete answer – guidance is therefore requested if I’ve missed or got something wrong and on what else can be done.
This is not for the scenario of output from a department or business unit because it’s easy to build a quality process in including review & approval stages and it’s not for production type environments where quality standards can be codified and easily tested.
Manager Tools model for quality (assume staff are hired already so omit recruiting advice):
Firstly, the trinity:
1. Ensure you have a good relationship with the staff member with the One-On-Ones (in particular focus on what motivates them, challenges they may have in work standard & are they clear about standards)
2. Provide proper 4 step feedback whenever the quality meets standard and whenever the quality does not meet standard
3. Identify areas for improvement and coach the direct appropriately (in this instance it would be something quality related such as how to work accurately with figures or a course on written communication)
4. Develop the staff member by delegating some review/quality control responsibilities to them (seeing the other side is always helpful)
Second, set goals: As mentioned this is for an environment where codification of quality standards is difficult so will have to work to define metrics – working out what it is that you really want and expressing this will be key to being able to communicate and monitor. Once you have a metric, this can be measured.
Brainstorming: Engage direct as part of the problem identification, definition & solving on how to achieve quality. Can assist with development of goals and metrics above.
Performance reviews: Not the best place for feedback as feedback should be more frequent than annually so rather use performance reviews to determine goals with the direct, set expectations, link to reward and ensure job description incorporates quality standards
Owning the inputs: Ensure directs understand that they own the inputs – incorporate into feedback and goals/job descriptions
Use verbal commitments: As a favoured alternative or a supplement to role power (especially if role power is not present)
That’s what I can get out of the Managers Tools model – does anyone think there is something that could be added/altered. Does anyone have a successful case study that they can share?