Set High Standards for Your Subordinates

In this article, we shall discuss standards of work, and in particular, standards of achievement. First we shall see how standards affect performance in a business organization. The standards set by management have a deep and far-fetching influence on the way people in an organization think and perform.

There is a direct relationship between high standards and high profits. High standards by themselves do not guarantee high profits (for managers must sell the standards and help employees to work for them), but they are one of the essential links between management and profits.

One reason is that high standards satisfy an important need of key people in an organization-the people with drive and a desire to accomplish. Every good organization has a few such men and women; there are never enough. To challenge them personally, and also to help them assume leadership positions, the company somehow must convey that it wants the best its employees can give. If there is a general feeling that it is good enough to do a fair job, the top performers will quickly realize that they are just wasting their time.

It should also be remembered that in a technologically advanced companies today, and in the companies that move fast with new products and promotions to keep up with fast-changing markets, there are countless decisions being made all the time by people under the managerial levels. The manager cannot hope to keep up with everything that is going on; no matter how much he would like to control, he can in fact control only a portion of activities under his supervision.

One of the best ways he can influence these activities is by setting standards that will guide employees in their day-to-day work. If these bench marks are properly set, the bulk of the thousands of small decisions will complement the relatively few major ones made by the top executives. This has much to do with whether or not the company is successful.

High standards are instrumental in preventing what News Front Magazine once called “tired management”. Tired management occurs when executives lose the drive and inspiration of their predecessors in the corporation, or when company people show more interest in sharing the spoils of previous accomplishments than in “minding the store”.

This kind of deterioration is indeed likely to set in if management has not set high work standards and high criteria for accomplishment. Good communication between employees cannot be expected unless employees need to communicate in order to jet a job done.

Cooperation between sections cannot be expected unless the sections need to work together in order to accomplish mutually important goals. Managers cannot be expected to develop top performers among assistants and subordinates unless they need to do this in order to qualify for promotion.

Author: KPO

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