Without fail, at the start of every new year, the words on the tips of many people’s tongues are: This year I want to get organized. This yearly mantra is pledged, and usually by mid-month, the resolution is forgotten and old behavior resumes.
As a leader, dealing with disorganization can be highly frustrating. Detail orientation, time management, and efficiency are all part of being organized, and they are essential for things to run smoothly.
It can be incredibly hard to confront someone about how they choose to organize their work, because it is such a personal topic. However, if a direct report's organization is causing repeated error, then letting them continue down that path helps no one.
Below are three easy tips to have the conversation with an employee to develop and hone organization skills.
Tip #1: Recognize Success
No one is completely unorganized. We all have areas where the processes we put into place really work. It is important, as a leader, to get curious and ask your employee what is working best from their perspective. Highlight areas where you notice success.
Tip #2: Be Specific
The point of this conversation is to develop your employee and provide feedback. In order to do this, be specific with your examples and explain how you view the current organization process hindering performance. It is critical that you come to the conversation with methods your employee could try and then leave time for you and your employee to brainstorm more about those ideas. Create a detailed action plan that you both help mold.
Tip #3: Follow-Up
If your employee is serious about creating new organization habits, it is something they will have to work on every day. In order to show your commitment to the process, your support will need to reach past this initial conversation. Set up follow-up conversations to check-in and see how the new processes are going. Stay aware and give feedback when you see old behaviors dominating. On the flip side, when you see growth, make sure you give the recognition they deserve.
As a leader, how do you help your employees stay organized?