The 3 Things Each of your Employees Needs to Know

Part of being an entrepreneur is dealing with unstructured or vague concepts. But as you grow your team, you’ll want to clarify expectations with your people as much as possible.

One way to do that was introduced to me by my Co-founder Rob Forman. When we first started working together, he shared the importance of answering the following questions:

  1. Who’s my boss?
  2. What’s my job?
  3. How do I know if I’m doing it well?

As a leader, it’s important that each member of your team know the answers to these questions.

I asked Rob for to share why this was so important. Here’s what he had to say:

Too many people are not happy or engaged in their jobs. Research has found the biggest correlation for this to be the relationship one has with their direct supervisor. If I don’t know who I work for, what my job is, or if I’m doing it well, there is ambiguity and confusion, which is toxic. However, there is clarity, focus and feedback when these 3 elements are in place. This sets me up for fulfilling success as I work hard to achieve clear goals with my team.

As an example, here is how we laid it out for Rob in January 2013.

  1. Who’s my boss?
    – Kyle
  2. What’s my job?
    – Build a world-class product for salespeople
  3. How do I know if I’m doing it well?
    – If I am hitting 8/13 mutually agreed upon dev sprints per quarter

Now as the company has grown, the role expands. To put it in perspective, here’s a look at mine:

  1. Who’s my boss?
    – Shareholders (founders & employees)
  2. What’s my job?
    – Build a world-class software organization
  3. How do I know if I’m doing it well?
    – Is the company hitting it’s mutually agreed upon KPIs for product, revenue, client success, and culture?

The goal is to keep it simple. If you’re unable to answer the questions in 1-2 sentences, you need to continue to refine it.

What are your thoughts on these 3 questions?

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