In today's fast-paced world, we are all constantly bombarded with tasks, distractions, and competing priorities. With so much to do, it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters and what brings us desirable results.
Ultimately, being focused on impact is one of the most important things we can do to succeed in our careers, feel fulfilled in our work, and contribute to the success of our organizations.
In this article, I will explore the importance of being focused on impact at work and how this mindset can positively influence the way we approach our tasks, collaborate with others, and achieve our goals.
Additionally, after the reading, you will have a glimpse into Tidio's culture and approach to work, as focus on impact is one of our core company values.
So let's dive in and explore the power of focusing on impact in the workplace!
Task-oriented vs. Results-oriented cultures
There’s no doubt good work makes a difference. But how the “good” is defined might differ greatly, depending on the organization. To introduce the concept of impact at work, I would like to sketch a fundamental distinction between a “task-oriented” culture and a “results-oriented” culture - which also highlights different approaches to effectiveness.
Simply put, in task-oriented cultures, people are focused on more detailed pieces of work. Often, the bigger process or project is fragmented into parts, and different people take responsibility for each. “Checking the boxes” defines productivity. It works well in organizations where structures, responsibilities, and processes are well-defined and rarely require change.
On the other hand, results-oriented cultures focus on meeting goals and tend to treat tasks as a way to achieve an ultimate result, and tasks themself don’t equal results. This approach usually leaves a big room for flexibility in changing tasks and processes when they prove to be ineffective in terms of achieving the final goal.
And now, let me show you how impact relates to this.
Impact - so what exactly
As I mentioned in another article, What to consider before working in a startup, rapid scaling is a crucial and inherent quality of startup companies. Obviously, relying on the team’s effectiveness is an essential part of fast-paced scaling. For a changeable and productivity-focused environment, results-oriented culture seems to be the most adequate.
And here’s where impact plays its role - having an impact means taking actions that are significant for the final result.
But how to put it into practice? Let’s dive a little deeper into what are the elements of an impactful mindset!
#1 Understanding why the particular result is important
Patty McCord, in her famous book “Powerful,” states that every employee should know the company’s goal and mission: “Employees at all levels want and need to understand not only the particular work they are assigned and their team’s mission, but also the larger story of the way the business works, the challenges the company faces, and the competitive landscape.”.
If one understands the context, one can also easily answer the question, “Why am I doing this, and why is my work important?”
Having the answers to these questions means that the effort put into work daily is tied to the bigger purpose. It gives a sense of contribution and conviction that one’s work is meaningful and important. Consequently, understanding the business perspective works as a motivational booster.
What’s more -
It can help evaluate if goals are measured well or formulated correctly, and with a clear context, every employee can do it themselves. Having a bigger picture positions us one step closer to being the real owners of our goals.
#2 Defining results clearly and numerically
“We want to bring as many new clients as possible” sounds rather vague, and it is doubtful that everyone would expect the same outcome.
No wonder - it’s a foretaste of disagreement.
The first and most important step to avoid misunderstandings is setting clear and measurable goals. Paw Research Center finds that “feeling disrespected” is one of the top three reasons why employees quit. Forbes suggests that misunderstandings might play a significant role in feeling disrespected. That’s easy to imagine: the effort to achieve goals was put in, but expectations weren't met. That arises a big deal of disappointment and even stress.
No wonder why setting well-defined and measurable goals make an impact.
How to do that?
Whether you use OKRs, KPIs, or any other framework is up to you. Just be sure that at any point, you can tell precisely what your goal is and how close you are to achieving it.
At Tidio, we formulate goals as OITs. OIT stands for Objectives, Indicators, and Tasks. They define the set of quarterly and annual goals and the way to achieve them. Moreover, goals and progress in achieving them are visible to everyone in the organization. It reflects our transparency towards each other and guarantees the full alignment on how we run the company.
#3 Determining what actions will be most effective in achieving the goal
Having an impact means being effective. According to Forbes, “Efficiency is performing in the best possible way with minimal waste of time, effort, and resources”. To keep achieving good outcomes, it’s inevitable to adapt to new circumstances and frequently evaluate how we invest time, effort, and resources. Do my techniques and processes lead to the desired outcome?
I know what you think.
It seems like a challenge - but look at this from another perspective.
This approach creates an environment where innovative, effective solutions are more than welcome - it becomes clear that there is no reason to follow old paths if the ultimate goal might be achieved faster, easier, or more precisely. In other words, working for impact leaves a big room for proactivity and taking things into your own hands. You’re not only responsible for results; you can decide how to achieve them. If you’d like to explore this subject further, take a look at the article about taking ownership, which is related to another of Tidio’s core values!
The final words
To sum it up -
Being focused on impact means being an efficient person who understands what they contribute to and how they make this contribution. In every moment of a quarter and every stage of actively run projects, they know how close they’re to the desired goal, and they’re able to present it numerically. Moreover, being focused on impact at work allows them to adapt processes and tasks to changing circumstances, and they’re not afraid to raise a hand when seeing an obstacle.
And that’s it! I’m not going to deny being focused on impact requires a lot of context, an understanding of metrics, and a great deal of proactivity. But here’s some good news: this approach is fully trainable! Does it sound to you like a good chance to grow? Then mastering it is truly worth the effort!