In a recent workshop on time management a participant shared that he had created blocks of time on his calendar for his various projects. “Time-blocking” helps ensure you actually have time available to get the task done. But it hadn’t worked for this participant. When he got to the time block he didn’t know which project to work on. That is not a time management problem. That is a contribution “I know what is expected of me at work” problem.
“I know what is expected of me at work” is the first question on the Q12 employee engagement survey developed by Gallup. It is called the Q12 because there are only twelve questions. This first question is often one of the lowest scores of all twelve. Why? Because titles don’t define and beyond titles many employees don’t know how they contribute.
With two and sometimes three-page job descriptions, how could one not know what is expected of them at work? It happens because most job descriptions are directed to defining every task of the position, not to the alignment of the role to the vision, mission and goals of the organization.
Don’t get me wrong –the job description is needed but don’t stop there. How does the role contribute to the client, the firm and ultimately the person in that role, in ways far beyond the job title and duties.
Back to the workshop participant…the lack of contribution was not that he didn’t know what was expected of him. He knew he was to complete X, Y and Z project. It is that he had no benchmarks for determining priority.
When our jobs are defined by a list of tasks rather than by how our role contributes to the success of the client and firm, “I know what is expected of me at work” becomes the lowest score and eats away at the core of why the organization exists.
Do you know what is really expected of you?