A Time for Change - New Year's Business Resolutions
Ready or not, another year has arrived, and with it, an opportunity to reflect and recalibrate. While many of us have considered New Year's resolutions in the past (with varying levels of success), we thought this would be a good time to consider changes we can make in how we manage our responsibilities, and deal better with the one constant in our lives - change.
With these thoughts in mind, we researched tips and techniques from leaders in business and education, from the Harvard Business School to the SBA in Canada, along with our own experiences. Here are some ideas we thought you may want to consider to help you achieve your goals for the coming year - and beyond.
1. Cut Back On Your Clutter
If you are responsible for managing multiple projects, you can understand the challenges in dealing with the daily issues of pulling together and managing information as a major obstacle to being productive and effective. According to a recent Gallup Poll, the U.S. workforce loses over $300B in productivity annually from “disengagement” - distractions or interruptions that inhibit our ability to access information quickly. A key issue we need to confront is: how do we change the way we manage information better? Cut back on the clutter! Organizing your email is a great way to start. How about investing a few minutes to unsubscribe from emails you don't actually read at least once a month? Also, every time you "handle" a piece of information it takes more time to find it again. Stop procrastinating, and do something with it! And, why not take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to organize your email inbox with priorities and named projects, and keep them up to date? These tips can save you an up to an hour each day, or up to a full work week each year, a significant amount of time in the long run.
On a recent interview, a media personality declared that her goal was to empty her inbox every day. Great goal - not so easy to accomplish! If you are reading this, you have already decided that it may be relevant. With a seemingly endless menu of options for keeping in touch with colleagues, friends and family, smart phones and tablets are ubiquitous. However, their ease of use and accessibility can work both ways, leaving us overwhelmed and inundated with messages from personal and business connections. By setting filters, placing messages in files, and creating priority alerts from key contacts, we can leverage the benefits of technology and improve our ability to manage the flow and frequency of information. Create distinctive ringtones, auto forward emails from friends and family, and set priority levels for key clients and partners. These steps can make a measurable difference in our ability to be responsive, while we alleviate some of the anxiety associated with information overload.
3. Messaging Leadership
People respond to new ideas that are proven to work, and you don't have to be an executive to influence behavior that can help you accomplish your goals. Set expectations on when you respond to messages, keeping your priorities in mind. Be more strategic in how, where and when you commit your most valuable commodity: your time! Resist checking your smart phone every 15 seconds when you are in a meeting, as the people you are meeting with must be there for a reason!
For those of us who plead guilty to being control freaks, it's time to seriously consider delegating. At the end of the day, with a finite number of hours to work, the math does not work in your favor! If your # 1 goal this year is to grow your business and give each client the same level of quality and attention to detail that they have come to expect, then share some responsibility. Assign someone to pick up the ball, and give them an opportunity to prove their worth. Then determine your ROI, and see how it frees up your time to do more, better, and maintain the standards of quality you have set.
5. Make Business Planning a Weekly Event
Planning is vital if you want to maintain a healthy, growing business. Many companies engage in an annual business review to help gauge where they are, evaluate what's working, and what isn't, and help set new directions. Smart and successful business leaders set aside time each week to review their plans, and make adjustments when necessary “on the fly”. This approach will help avoid costly mistakes, and keep your long-term strategy and priorities front and center every day.
6. Learn Something New/Try Something Different
Many of us fall into the trap of being comfortable with how we go about our work. Maybe it’s time to go outside your comfort zone to expand your business. Join a new networking group, sign up for a class or workshop to polish your communication or tech skills to keep current and/or to complement your core areas of expertise. Stop committing time, money and resources into projects or people that have not worked for you. Take a new tact with how you approach or collaborate with your colleagues, business partners or direct reports.
HRG Strategic Training Solutions: Aligning Employees with Organizational Change
At Strategic Training Solutions, we have seen a significant increase from our clients to develop workshops and training to respond to the ongoing effects of change, ranging from mergers and acquisitions to reorganizations and new competition.
We have found that change works best in organizations that value each employee and their potential contributions. This workshop will provide strategies to help employers create an environment of trust and engagement which create a climate for positive change.
HRG best practices for change management include:
- Provide as much information as possible about the company to your employees – i.e., financial, customer feedback, EOS results, industry trends and projections, challenges, etc., as an informed workforce will understand and, hopefully, agree on the reason for a new approach, policy, or organizational change.
- Involve all stakeholders, process owners, and employees who will feel the impact of the change - as much as possible, and as early as possible, in the learning, planning, and implementation of the change initiative.
- Invite each employee to participate in decisions about their department and their individual roles.
- Create a sense of urgency by projecting what will happen if employees do not change - even if employees cannot affect the overall decision about change.
- Spend time educating mid-managers and supervisors, so they can understand, support and communicate the change, as they are critical in molding the opinion of others.
- Align your organizational systems – performance management, recognition, discipline, compensation, hiring, promotions, etc.
- Build measurement systems into the change process that tell people when and how they are succeeding or failing.
For more information about HRG Strategic Training Solutions, contact Laura McNerney, President Hospitality Resource Group, Inc. (914) 761-7111 or email Laura@HRGinc.net.
About Hospitality Resource Group
Hospitality Resource Group, Inc. (HRG) is a group of three vertically integrated companies, with over 17 years of experience in developing innovative marketing, training and event programs for businesses, education institutions, municipalities and not for profit organizations. HRG clients benefit from our proven ability to ignite market interest, engage consumers, and educate employees on how to manage and lead their companies to build brand equity, increase sales and improve productivity.
The HRG family of companies includes:
Hospitality Resource Group has been recognized as a recipient of the
MPI Greater New York President’s Award in 2013.
For more information, please visit us online @ www.HRGInc.net
or call (914) 761-7111.