And, when children enter school, they have to master the educational standards in their curriculum... but, reading, math, and science lessons do not prepare them for the peer pressure, social dynamics, and developmental challenges of youth that they inevitably face. In the same way, there is a hidden curriculum of work that we all encounter.
Once you translate these into goals for the working life you want, you’re ready to bring your personal priorities to the table. Next, it is a matter of understanding the stated goals of the team and organization, then deeply engaging in ways that allow you to anticipate how those priorities may evolve.
And finally, managers must spot and work through the gaps between goals and obstacles. Integrating the CG2 sequence helps managers understand and influence their circumstances in periods of heightened ambiguity and intense change.
- Paying attention to the hidden curriculum of work that employees encounter. Managers can use a common language to name the true challenges of work and create a culture of expectations, accountability, and support for team members to examine their “job-within-the-job” and to navigate its challenges.
- Shift performance management practices to match the double realities of work. This means reorienting the way managers set and measure performance goals around the needs of the hidden curriculum of work®, and not just based on the standard job description (i.e. setting benchmarks, annual performance appraisals, compensation schedules, etc.).
- Commit time, energy, and resources to the growth of their people. Managers must engage others to reveal their hidden curriculum of work® and empower them to meet its demands. Without active and consistent engagement from managers – including real investments of time and energy – there is no reasonable expectation that employees will sustain their own engagement over time.
- Establishing a supportive, trust-based relationship that balances the individual’s knowledge and skills with the true demands of their job and the goals of the organization.
- Creating expectations early and reinforcing them often.
- Making the hidden side of work discussible and investing time and resources into others’ processes of discovering their “job-within-the-job."
- Staying present enough to track their ongoing efforts and progress.
- Communicating early and often when expectations and accountabilities are unmet.
- Establish a supportive, trust-based relationship that places the quality of the employee’s working life at the center of importance.
- Accurately assess the individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to the requirements of meeting the true demands of their “job-within-the-job."
- Work with the employee to define the mutually beneficial agenda, where their vital purpose, value-added contributions, and career aspirations align with the needs of the team and the overall goals of the organization.
- Create expectations about communication, collaboration, and performance early and reinforce them often.
Constant change from the world outside, combined with the unpredictability of people and circumstances inside the organization, kept me chasing the ghosts of issues that affected my team’s performance, my own contributions to the organization, and the bottom line. Most of the resources available to me, often in the form of workshops and training programs, failed to get to the root cause of these issues.