Here is one of the most common, yet astounding, things that I see in organizations: Direct reports often aren’t clear on what their jobs are. Yes, they are busy all day, but if you ask any of them what, specifically, their job is, you get a job title, or a general explanation.
Do this: Ask each of your direct reports to write-down the top 4-8 ongoing results that each of their jobs is designed to accomplish. Focus on the results the job is intended to accomplish, not the activities the person does. Ask them to bring the list to your next one-on-one.
Chances are, you’ll have a very good conversation, one that will help both of you get clearer on both outcomes and priorities.
Unless you, and especially your direct reports, know what each person is expected to accomplish, work is just a constant stream of busy-ness.
Activities aren’t what matters; results are.