Clarity reduces anxiety, stress and uncertainty. One of the greatest stressors for workers is a lack of clarity. Lack of clarity comes in the three key categories –
Clarity of Role – Role clarity ensures that an employee knows the key responsibilities of their job. What are the key responsibilities of your position? What are the outcomes associated with each of the key responsibilities of your role?
It is not uncommon for leaders to generate a role to fill a gap in the business without having clear boundaries of work responsibilities associated with the role. Another pitfall leaders fall into is blaming an employee for their need for role clarity. It is the leader’s responsibility to generate clarity for themselves and their team.
One tool we use is the 4-D exercise which outlines the dedicated responsibilities of your role. It ultimately answers the question – what is the work that only you can do? This tool works great at the individual and team level.
Clarity of Process – Knowing who is to do what and by when is found in a thoroughly documented process. When employees consistently need to ask themselves what role they play in the process, it creates excessive decision making demands. In fact, it actually activates the stress appraisal process of the brain. Leaders can mitigate this by first documenting every activity in the business.
Clarity of Authority – When employees are unsure of their authority level, this can diminish their sense of engagement and empowerment. There are four levels of authority:
The first is Go and Do – What are the tasks, projects and decisions that employees can go and do fully empowered?
The second level of authority Ask, Go and Do – are the items that an employee must ask first before they go and do. Sometimes this is financially driven.
Go, Do and Tell ensures that once the task is complete, the employee loops back with their manager to share the results.
Ask Go Do and Tell includes all the items which typically is the highest complexity task.
Which of the three categories of clarity are most needed in your environment?