This list is by no means comprehensive, but focusing on these goals throughout the coming year could be pivotal to your growth and to the success of your business.
- Practise diversity.
Don’t just do this for your HR department quotas. Do it because in this day and age, you need all the input you can get. The more differing the viewpoints of your staff, the more through a picture your feedback can paint, the more thought-out your strategies can be. Don’t let race, gender, background, or disability limit you, because otherwise you may be left in the dark.
Morale is directly linked to positivity from leadership in almost every study of the workplace. Take the time to instill positivity in your managers. Come in to your business with a sense of not just energy, but also zeal. Energy can be frenetic if it is only a sense of urgency without being paired with a sense of purpose. If you believe in what your business is doing, your staff will believe it too. Keep an upbeat attitude. (It’s okay to fake it. All businesses hit rough patches, and all leaders have stress. The only way to get through that is with a staff that has the energy to push you through it.)
This is not just about your staff. Make sure that you remain accountable. Act ethically. Act with responsibility for the health and well-being of your company. Keep your word. Don’t make promises you won’t or can’t keep. Don’t offer things you can’t give. Do what you can to live the life you want your employees to be living. This trickles down in the same way that enthusiasm can.
- Communicate more.
Be authentic. Be succinct. Regular and repeated messages are key to getting your audiences to understand you. Communicating properly can never be brow-beating. Great leaders are great simplifiers. Keep the positivity. Offer solutions. Communication is key to creating bonds within your staff, but also to making sure that everyone is on the same page. The more you communicate, and make the channels of communication available to all, the fewer and fewer things you will see falling through the cracks.
- Delegate more.
A key to both keeping your sanity and empowering your team, delegation is not to be underestimated. According to this Fast Company article, the six steps to effective delegation: 1 – Preparation. Plan what you need done and how you need it done. 2 – Assigning tasks. Once you’ve planned out the roadmap you need to let everyone else in on the plan. Set expectations for who is doing what, when they are communicating with you, and what your timing, and budgets are. 3 – Confirm understanding. Make sure that you are understood. Not just that you are understood in what the expectations are for your staff, but that they understand what you want. The “why” is the most important part. Take the few seconds you need at the end of the conversation to make sure that everyone is on the same page in their own words. 4 – Confirm commitment. This is one of the often skipped and assumptions are made that tasks will be completed after they are given. Make sure that you fully hand over the baton and that they understand the responsibility and are committed to the expected results. Depending on the situation, this may require making them aware of the consequences of failure to execute. 5 – Avoid “reverse delegation”. It’s rarely, if ever, necessary for a manager to take back a task that he or she had delegated to someone else. Coach and employee through the task if they get stumped. Make sure the resources are available to them. Let them work out the problem on their own if need be. Keep yourself free to focus on your other tasks and let them learn how to complete this task so that they may understand how to complete similar tasks in the future. Just don’t take the delegated task back! 6 – Accountability. Accountability is not just consequences for an incomplete task, it is also making sure the communication between you and the employees is frequent, and that there are no surprises. There is nothing worse than finding out thirty minutes before a time-sensitive task is due that the employee was unable to complete it.
These goals are not always easy, but they are all worth it. Notice I don’t call them resolutions, because resolutions are big changes you make all at once that may not be sustainable, whereas in business, goals are something you work hard every day to achieve. I hope you take what you can use from this list and have a profitable 2016!
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