How to be more effective in work execution

Posted on May 24, 2016 by ATB Chartered Accountants

Execution is critical to an individual’s career advancement, but it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you work longer hours.

Execution, or the ability for individual’s to achieve their goals/objectives is highly valued by employers. When managers were asked to indicate the importance of this ability out of a total of 16 skills, it came in as number one, whereas other members of an organisation ranked it fourth.
Leaders are people who work hard and for long hours. To move higher up in a workplace however, working harder for longer hours may not be possible. While it may be seen as an effective short-term strategy, in the long-term working longer hours just means that you’ll burn out. If leaders push this onto their teams as well, they tend to show high turnover rates.

So if you’re not working longer and harder, how can you improve your execution?

BE CLEAR AND STRATEGIC

If you’re excited about a particular task or project you’ve been assigned to, you may find yourself jumping right in without first making the time to create a plan of attack, and connect this task to the overall strategy of the organisation you work for. By first sitting down and planning how the task will be completed, and then assembling the resources required, it enables both yourself, and those around you to better execute the work.

While you might be able to get away without planning at a lower-level position in an organisation, this won’t pass well in management positions where people will be following off of your work.

SET GOALS AND DEADLINES

Through making goals and deadlines available in group work, a framework is able to be established for when particular tasks are to be executed by. This creates better engagement as well as satisfaction between those involved in the task.

Setting deadlines changes the way we go about completing our work. In the face of a challenge, no one likes to loose so you and your team will be far more likely to meet these goals. BUT, if you do set unrealistic deadlines as a team leader and aren’t understanding of reasons behind this, deadlines could cause a breakdown of trust. To avoid this, your team should be involved in the setting of deadlines to heighten their commitment.

GIVE FEEDBACK, ESPECIALLY POSITIVE

Receiving feedback improves your motivation, and what improves execution more than motivation? Leaders who are great at executing provide thorough feedback, however, they also take the time to listen to their employees’ perspectives of the situation as well. If something wasn’t executed as smoothly as you would have liked, what other factors influenced this, and how can you as the leader ensure this doesn’t happen in the future?

BUILD TEAM UNITY

When working in a team, the expectations of you act as motivators. With a highly motivated team culture in place, it is important that conflict resolution is focused on by leaders. When working on a group project, any differences or conflicts that are experienced are constructive, not personal. Leaders need to ensure that the conflicts don’t get personal and impact on overall morale.

Through building team unity, employees will be able to bounce off each other when tasks are clear, with ambitious deadlines and plenty of feedback. This kind of workplace culture is crucial for execution.