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A New Year Means Resolutions…But For Whom?

January 21st, 2016 Comments off

Well, it is that time of year again when people look back on the previous year and make vows, (New Year’s resolutions), to improve some aspect of their life.  Whether that is to take better physical care of themselves, improve a relationship, be more tolerant or a number of other objectives.  These commitments are introspective and generally made by individuals.  However, these resolutions should not just be limited to individuals but also include businesses as well.  Yes, I know, businesses are made of a compilation of individuals and if theses individuals (employees) improve on themselves, then the business will indirectly see the benefits.  Although this may be true to a degree, good business leaders should also take the opportunity to make business resolutions as well.  These resolutions are generally going to be top down driven objectives and it is incumbent of business leaders to drive these resolutions.  This can be accomplished through a formal business or departmental improvement plan or an overall corporate culture initiative.

In our company, the senior management team identified improvement areas and chose three of those ‘resolutions’ to address in 2016.  The key, just as in a personal resolution, is to not commit to something that you know is unattainable but still challenges an individual both personally and professionally.  I recently read a great article in Forbes that addresses this issue and provides suggestions if you are struggling to identify them yourself.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of these ‘habits’ I already practice and know they work. Below you will find some of those items outlined in the article:

“No micromanagement”

So easy to lapse into yet so rarely effective.  A recent study pointed to pesky micromanagement as a primary reason behind talent departures – with employees who felt micromanaged being 28% more likely to look for work elsewhere.  Of course there’s a difference between close supervision when needed and chronic micromanagement when not: one is constructive, the other destructive.

“No playing favorites”

Anyone who’s managed a day in his or her life can tell you this is an easy trap to fall into.  Some people are just easier to manage, while others can be downright hard… but that doesn’t mean the ‘harder’ employee isn’t valuable to your organization.  In fact, he or she may be even more valuable.

“Don’t hesitate to hire people smarter than yourself”

As a leader who wants to optimize team performance, it’s critical to hire the best people you can (plus people you feel will work well together).  Management is no place for the insecure.  Hiring people who have talents you lack will likely boost your team’s overall performance.

“No ducking conflict”

This is an-all-too-common challenge.  That should come as no surprise – conflict is unpleasant.  It involves tension, confrontation, and firm direct communication.  But, make no mistake; handling conflict effectively is invariably a core task of management.  If you’re in management and can’t abide conflict, chances are you’re in the wrong business.

“Set an example that’s easy to follow”

This is probably the simplest – and best – action you can take in the New Year.  Just set an exemplary example.  It always has the same cost – zero dollars and zero cents.

 

I highly recommend and urge any business leader to take the opportunity to identify the business resolutions you wish to tackle in 2016!

 

 

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