Editors Note: This guest post by Nick Hedges originally appeared on LinkedIn. His opinions are his own.
With the traditional end of year wind-down now hopefully well and truly behind us, it’s time to ensure that all the team is back into the swing of things. Here are a few ways to re-energise yourself and your team to help make 2017 the best year yet.
Many business leaders become accustomed to the ways to influence performance and profitability within their organisations. As the business world is in a constant state of flux, leaders should reflect on their 2016 ideas and objectives and re-evaluate their focus and strategy in line with any changes that have occurred both inside the organisation and externally. It’s the perfect time to run a SWOT Analysis.
Once management has decided upon a company’s revised focus and core strategies for the year, these objectives should be written down and communicated to all relevant employees. Placing specific and achievable objectives on a timeline is an effective way to inspire staff to achieve and receive recognition.
When deciding on what projects and activities to focus on in 2017, think about what you feel was missed out last year that was important to you and the business. We all have 24 hours in a day and it’s important that we feel that we are using our time effectively and productively. By actively creating time for these higher priority tasks, you’ll find you get more of the important work done.
Every year we add contacts on social media, receive handfuls of business cards and are given leads through professional and personal connections. Often these contacts are just added to our database but there could be many hidden treasures buried in our contacts lists. Take some time to go through all of your contacts and think about which relationships could benefit from another contact whether it’s an email, phone call or a coffee.
For business leaders in particular, there is much untapped power in every moment that passes in each business day. It’s often a single wise action such as a decision or an act that inspires employees which can make a company leap forward. Just as many of us have New Year’s resolutions, company leaders can have ‘new day’s resolutions’ which, on any day, can have a big impact that progresses the organisation. Consider what single action you could take today to further drive your company and your personal performance.
The Japanese concept of Kaizen embraces the idea of continuous improvement. In business, this concept relates to every person and every process being improved at all times. Particularly for companies with a large number of staff and many processes, small improvements at any stage can lead to large improvements. If the Kaizen philosophy is embraced daily across a business, the results can be dramatic. Even the smallest changes can make a significant difference over the longer term.
Ghandi once urged people to be the change they want to see in the world and this can be implemented within businesses in the sense that leaders can be the people they want to see in the company. If leaders in a business are actively tuning into and optimising their performance, attitude and overall behaviour style, then this is likely to flow on throughout the organisation. If everyone within an organisation acts as a role model then, as a whole, the company should be performing at its best.
Long-term employees in particular are likely to have grown within an organisation and their feedback can be crucial for management’s decision-making. Rather than focusing on teaching employees, managers can also benefit by learning from employees. It may be that employees teach you and guide you to knowing about how best to manage them. In your next team meeting, ask them “do you have any feedback about your role or our processes?” They may be surprised but they’ll feel that you’re open and considerate.
Most managers and business owners want to feel as if everything is under control but with the rapid pace of business and our lifestyles outside of work, it can be easy for new tasks and responsibilities to arise. By using a diary for all activities, rather than a ‘to do list’, business owners and managers will be more systemised and can feel more organised with easy-to-view visual deadlines. It’s also important to prioritise and create an optimal work/life balance in your calendar by scheduling activities such as family time, gym sessions, yoga classes and going to football matches. Leaving gaps in your days is also a good practice in case new tasks come up or if you just want to have the option of taking a break.
It is easy to get caught up with a focus on business and planning for a successful 2017. Just remember that looking after your body and mind can make it a lot easier to perform well in all areas of your life. By taking steps to revive and enhance your personal mojo, through healthy eating and regular exercise, the ‘professional you’ will have a much greater chance at achieving all you’d like to achieve in 2017. By reinforcing this message to employees, they should feel better about themselves and their work-life which has benefits all round.
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