Come the New Year, we’ll all be making resolutions. The New Year is a great time for us to start afresh and make new commitments, but why should this stop at a personal level? What about applying New Year resolutions to teams, divisions or your whole business?
Just like setting personal resolutions, the start of the New Year is a great time to start afresh and re-prioritise your objectives. In fact, setting, and keeping, resolutions are an effective way to maximise the results your business can achieve.
Here are five New Year Resolution ideas for your business:
1. Define your business culture
Understand what it is that your business stands for, and indeed why you’re in business (other than to make a profit)? Once you know that, then narrow down the values that are important to your business, and communicate them to your employees, so that everyone has the same understanding.
2. Implement employee ideas
Nothing frustrates employees more than having a good idea that is never put into action. Listen to employees and their ideas. and do whatever you can to implement those ideas which could improve your business. Perhaps resolve to try and implement one new idea a month.
3. Get to know your team
Humans are social creatures and we like to socialise, so make the effort to get to know your team and your peers. Organise a monthly social event, because the better the team know and communicate with each other, the higher their motivation and productivity levels.
4. Meet less and get more done
Meetings can be incredibly time-consuming and wasteful. Before you organise a meeting ask yourself if it could be done another way, such as through a conference call, and, if you really need to have a meeting, set an agenda with timings and make sure you stick to it. Put your business’ critical items near the top of the agenda, send it out in advance so that people come along prepared, and don’t get distracted by lots of chit chat at the start of the meeting.
5. Write a personal thank you
With the advent of electronic communications, there’s a tendency to hide behind generic messages of thanks. Highly personalised thank you notes, whether they are to a member of your team, colleague, supplier or customer, have a significantly greater impact than anything generic – but be sure to link the behaviour you are thanking to a company value. A simple thank you note can go a long way to improving motivation, encouraging behaviour in line with your business values, and building on-going relationships.
Of course, New Year’s resolutions are great, but if you don’t commit to keep them, you won’t achieve anything. At least once a month, set out what you have achieved against your resolutions: is it completed, work in progress, or not started? Big changes and better results come from small actions repeated regularly, until they become a habit. By holding yourself accountable, the behaviour is more likely to become a subconscious habit.
Whether your focus is on increasing sales, defining your business culture, or designing a new office breakout room, getting your staff involved via focus groups or idea submission boxes can help them to feel engaged with the business, which we all know increases motivation, productivity and loyalty. This collaborative process will also mean that you are more likely to keep your New Year business resolutions, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve.
Have a great 2015!