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How would you encourage your direct reports to commit and take actions towards achieving the goals of the organization? Our recent findings from a research data of 122 companies may provide some answers to this question.

In our survey, we asked the respondents to rate themselves on a scale of 1-7. We used the following question items from the survey to divide the respondents into four groups.

I understand the current goals of my organization. ("Understanding")
I work with a strong desire to achieve the organization's goals. ("Action")

Figure 1 show the four groups based on their ratings in "understanding" and "action"

Figure 1:
Respondent groups based on "understanding" and "action"

Respondents were divided into four groups based on their average scores.
n=122 (Group A: 57, Group B: 11, Group C: 12, Group D: 42)
Coaching Research Institute, 2015

In this article, let us look at Group A and Group B. These are direct reports who rated themselves high in terms of understanding the current goals of the company. The difference between these two groups is that Group A rated themselves high in terms of taking actions, while Group B rated themselves lower. In other words, direct reports in this group understood the company's goals, but were unable to take actions. So what would help them?

Figure 2 shows the top 5 question items from the survey with the biggest gap between the two groups. (Group A rated themselves higher compared to Group B.)

Figure 2:
Top 5 question items with the biggest gap between Group A and Group B

Refer to grouping method in Figure 1.
30 question items on "current state of the organization" were rated by the respondents on a scale of 1-7.
(1. Completely disagree-7. Completely agree)
Coaching Research Institute, 2015

The question item with the biggest score gap was "performance review criteria and rationale are clearly communicated". There was a strong positive correlation between the question item above and the "action" question item (r= 0.72).

To encourage direct reports to take action towards achieving the goals of the organization, we can spend more time with direct reports to talk about the organization's goals, keep track of their progress and provide feedback through performance reviews.

Do you make sufficient time to talk with direct reports on their work performance? As the end of the fiscal year is fast approaching, perhaps we should consider putting more time to talk with our direct reports.

Research overview

No. of Samples:
122 companies
Sept. 2011 - Feb. 2015
Survey method:
Online survey
Survey tool:

Executive Mindset Inventory (EMI)