We are proud to share the next in our series of TRE’s cultural “roots”, guideposts that have been identified by TRE as critical to our work. Read more about this organizational effort at www.tre.org/blog-tre-roots/.
TRE Root #15: FOLLOW UP ON EVERYTHING
Follow up on everything is an important Root for our work at TRE because it is a significant driver of the effectiveness of our relationships with the people we support and our credibility as part of their service or support team. Following up shows your dependability to accomplish what you have agreed to. It builds trust with the people you support, your peers, and your partners. It is perceived by others as demonstrating that you value the other person/group. This is why when you do not follow up or are not timely with your follow up, people feel they are not valued by you or that you do not see their needs as important. This gets to the heart of our first Root Put People First. If you truly put people first, you understand and value the importance of following up with or on behalf of them. If people do not trust that you will follow through, you have greatly diminished your ability to partner with them to get their needs met.
Follow up, or follow through, means the completion of a motion or action. This Root is closely tied to the Root Clarify Expectations. It is important that each of us clarifies expectations with the person or people with whom we are making a commitment, but also for ourselves. When we set and clarify expectations, we are making a commitment, or a promise related to next steps. Follow up is movement toward the completion of that commitment. It is a necessary step towards the Root Honor Commitments.
Doing what you say you will do, including follow up, is being accountable. Personal accountability is about taking ownership of your commitments and your follow through. It is understanding your responsibilities in your work and taking specific action to follow up on those responsibilities to ensure the people we support are satisfied with our services. This is another one of our Roots, Hold Yourself Accountable.
There will always be times when we cannot meet the expectations we have set, for a variety of reasons. Your integrity and credibility are defined by your commitment to doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, and at the first sign that you will not be able to do it, repairing any and all damage to everyone that will be negatively impacted before you move on. Owning when you cannot meet your commitment in the way you had planned and setting a plan for moving forward is effective follow through.
As you go about your work, consider the following:
- Talk within your team about strategies team members use to keep track of follow up that is needed and managing commitments when workloads are challenging.
- Reflect on the priority that you place on follow up. How do you prioritize it in your workload? How do you prioritize it when you are expecting follow up from others?
- Share examples of where you observe peers doing a great job at following up on their commitments.