It’s a brand new year. Time for new beginnings, new challenges, new accomplishments. For most of us, exercising more, losing weight, or learning a new skill top the list of New Year’s resolutions. While those resolutions are typically broken long before Cupid shoots his arrow, there are some resolutions that cannot be broken – no matter what. Those are the ones related to your business.
For top managers, the New Year is a great time to resolve to take your business to the next level. It’s a fresh start, after all, and an ideal opportunity to take chances, set goals, and drive fundamental change and needed improvements that will result in greater success and a stronger bottom line.
Let’s be clear. We are not talking about “be a better manager” kinds of resolutions. Rather, these are resolutions that get at the heart of the business, that result in fundamental changes in the behavior of you as leader, and your team of managers.
Here are the top five resolutions you must make for 2013:
1. Measure – So much has been written about the value of metrics that you’re probably sick of hearing about them. However, there is truth in the statement: “If you measure it, it will grow.” There is no getting away from it. If you want to improve your business results, you’ve got to measure what you’ve currently got and then set some realistic goals. Without metrics, you have no means of gauging your organization’s improvement. If you have not yet taken the crucial first step of establishing metrics, this must be your first resolution of the New Year.
2. Involve – If organization-wide improvement is your goal, you must involve everyone in the initiative. From front-line employees to IT and Accounting to Marketing and Human Resources, everyone must be on the proverbial “same page”. After all, you can’t expect people to support an improvement initiative if they aren’t aware what’s expected of them. Use performance reviews or internal audits to inform people about the initiative and, in particular, about their job function and the role it is expected to play in driving organization-wide improvement. Make meetings a cross-functional affair and give employees opportunities to improve themselves via training and cross-departmental assignments.
3. Engage – If customer complaints are your primary means of feedback, you are relying on lagging indicators to improve performance. Rather than waiting for a disgruntled customer to contact you, you should be reaching out to your customers before they have a problem. Be mindful that customer surveys may not be sufficient, however, as few people actually take the time to respond – unless they are unhappy, that is. The squeaky wheel is the one that gets the grease, after all. Engage your employees in coming up with new and innovative ways to solicit feedback from your customers to ensure that you are fulfilling your promise of top-notch service.
4. Empower – When a problem arises, the worst mistake you can make is to simply order an employee to fix the problem. This approach basically ignores the root cause of the problem, ensuring that it will happen again…and again. Rather, empower your employees to brainstorm a solution. Encourage them to analyze the problem, the processes that are involved, and then come up with a means of ensuring the problem will not reoccur. Demonstrate that you, as leader, are supportive of their solution and that others must fall in line and perform the process in the new manner.
5. Commit – It’s not enough to simply tell your workforce the organization is committed to improvement. You must walk the proverbial walk. Visibly demonstrate your support for the initiative at every possible moment – in meetings, memos, and in the workplace. Recognize employees who identify opportunities for improvement and hold employees accountable for meeting objectives.
Learn more about how you can strengthen your workplace. Contact High Profile Staffing today.