Tools to Monitor Progress and Connect Employees to Results
Distractions and disruptions in schools, districts, and daily routines can divert our attention from what truly matters. These interruptions, whether major or fleeting, are inevitable. While it’s natural to respond to such situations, as education leaders, it’s our duty to guide our teams back to their primary focus on progress and results once the initial response has been addressed.
- Education leaders can maintain focus on essential goals by providing clarity, ensuring alignment, and driving execution within their teams.
- Consistent team leader huddles are a valuable tool for maintaining alignment and clarity within an organization.
- Connecting with individual team members through rounding and in-depth conversations is crucial for maintaining engagement and satisfaction. Leaders can use specific questions to gather feedback, verify alignment with organizational goals, and build strong relationships, resulting in a sharper focus on key priorities and improved team performance.
Drive Team Success with Consistent Communication About Results
Prioritize What Matters
Leaders can encourage their teams to focus on what’s most important by providing clear direction, aligning people to goals, and monitoring progress toward execution.
To keep your team on the right path, focus on these key steps:
- Providing Clarity: Share your organization’s strategic or action plan with the entire team and seek feedback to ensure a shared understanding of success.
- Ensuring Alignment: Clearly communicate the department and team goals for the next 30 or 60 days, allowing team members to tailor their individual goals accordingly.
- Driving Execution: Regularly meet with teams and leaders to monitor progress, assess how team members are prioritizing actions, and ensure alignment with priorities.
These steps are your roadmap to keeping your team on target. But how can you put them into practice? Consider these two essential connection opportunities:
Consistent Team Leader Huddles
Implementing regular team leader huddles can work wonders. Leaders can connect, share updates, and address potential barriers, promoting clarity, alignment, and execution. The frequency can vary based on your organization’s needs, ranging from daily, weekly, or even bi-weekly.
Sergio Mendoza, the former Superintendent of Burton School District, has experienced the positive impact of daily huddles firsthand. He notes, “The huddle really gave us those quick informational ideas. We first talked about harvested wins. After that, everyone had an opportunity to talk about what they are doing in the next 24 to 48 hours and what they are stuck on. And I think that was the most critical piece.” These huddles not only improved problem-solving in his district but also increased the connection between principals and teachers.
If there are places where leaders are stuck or there are barriers to progress, problem-solving does not occur during the team huddle. The right people will meet outside of the larger group to discuss and solve barriers. This could also be an opportunity for a leader to meet one-on-one with their employee to focus on feedback and problem-solving.
Connecting with Employees
While huddles offer some two-way communication, in-depth conversations with individuals allow leaders to verify alignment, guide execution, and engage employees. Sergio Mendoza also highlights the importance of rounding, stating, “The other piece of that was rounding. I started to do rounding with my cabinet, and then I introduced the rounding portion of the huddles with my principals.”
Rounding, a powerful leader connection tactic, allows leaders to harvest wins and gather feedback about the work environment. It’s a chance to build genuine relationships and gain insights.
Use these core questions during rounding to maintain consistency and gather valuable insights:
- What is working well for you?
- Do you have the necessary resources to excel in your role?
- How can I assist you in performing your best?
- Is there anyone who has been particularly helpful to you?
These questions facilitate clarity, alignment, and execution. Leaders can further probe to better understand their team’s perspectives and refine their strategies. This proactive approach increases employee engagement, satisfaction, and a sharper focus on organizational priorities.
To monitor progress and connect employees to results, leaders must:
Adopt a mindset that prioritizes progress and results even in the face of distractions and disruptions. By thinking differently, leaders can guide their teams back to their primary focus on what truly matters.
Foster clarity and alignment within their teams. Sharing strategic plans and department goals, along with seeking feedback, ensures that everyone understands and works toward the same objectives. This structured planning approach is crucial for maintaining team focus.
Implement consistent team leader huddles and engage in individual connections with team members through rounding and in-depth conversations. These proactive actions promote problem-solving, build strong relationships, and keep teams engaged, ultimately resulting in a sharper focus on key priorities and improved performance.