Even though it’s already mid-January, we still have time to implement the New Year’s resolutions which will have a positive effect on our business. Apparently, with the advent of the new year, half of Poles set some goals for themselves and 86% of them believe that they will succeed. Unfortunately only 1/10 manages to follow through. Does the same apply to business? Do such decisions introduce order or, perhaps, wreak havoc within the corporation? Is this a good way to motivate the employees and to refresh the aims of the company or a recipe for aggravating our team’s morale?
Small enterprises – extensive changes
If we decide to set goals for the new year, we have to thoroughly consider which elements or units of the enterprise are the most important for us, what do we want to change and what to achieve. This is why it is worth analysing our company a bit and focusing on its individual departments.
To some extent small entrepreneurs have it easier. One-person enterprises or enterprise employing several people at the most can analyse their situation much more easily and find critical points with huge influence on business activity much faster. Being the employer and the employee at the same time, we know our needs and what we have to change for our enterprise to develop. This is why resolutions include finding more clients, hiring employees, working less with higher efficiency etc.
The list of the resolutions most often set in small businesses includes first and foremost developing own website, building relations in social media, writing a blog and branding. However, they also include goals such as ceasing to cooperate with clients who do not pay on time or charging them on a prepayment basis, estimating task deadlines feasibly, ordering work etc.
For a small entrepreneur, a list of such resolutions may be key to raise their business to the next level. Client focus, feasible estimation of implementation costs and task deadlines are the main aspects to improve.
Large companies and changes at different levels
In large companies, the introduction and determination of new year’s resolutions may prove to be much harder. A set goal can regard the company as a whole or individual units, it can have effect on a few employees only etc. Thus, there are changes implemented on a micro and macro scale.
Resolutions in large companies can also be divided into those concerning procedures, those referring to the organisational culture and those concerning employees and their competence. Obviously, trade departments can add a goal to exceed sales thresholds and salespeople can focus on acquiring a bigger number of leads. However, it is up to the enterprise whether to treat such goals as resolutions or milestones.
Why these three types of resolutions are so important in larger structures? They are extremely significant for performance and work culture. Let’s start with the latter issue and decisions regarding the necessary changes.
Changes in organisational culture
There are a lot of enterprise on the market and each one of them is managed differently. They also include such companies the culture of which is based on conformism, guesses, speculations and poor delegation of tasks and responsibilities. Despite poor management their market position is not threatened, but it might happen in the future. Such a situation will sooner or later lead to personnel shortage or to staff turnover, which will deprive the enterprise of specialists with extensive experience. In such enterprises, it is worth taking care of a better start in the new year and beginning to implement different, employee-oriented cultures. For this to happen, it is worth trying to:
- establish a value system – a set of answers for employees to tell them how to behave and what to do in order to make the enterprise’s vision come true;
- create the perfect brand – the vision of the enterprise has to be well described and presented. It will not only direct the employees’ actions, but can also draw prospective partners and clients;
- create a narration – communication language allowing to present the enterprise’s history, build its image etc.;
- arrange the workplace properly – the organisational culture goes hand in hand with its appearance. The way we prepare the office for our employees, the layout of the rooms and the decor will have a huge impact on them.
However, that is not all. Building an appropriate culture also means changing the way the management thinks. What is now becoming more and popular are blue ocean leadership, companies employing the lean management and enterprises where employees are simply listened to.
When do we know that the time has come to change the management method and the organisational culture? Primarily when the performance of employees declines drastically, when large differences are visible in results among different teams, when you hear complaints in the enterprise corridors. A good manager can just feel it at times. It is worth conducting analyses and employee surveys showing how much they need changes.
Changes in procedures
Poor procedures, wrong communication routes and document circulation affect the efficiency of the organisation hugely. It is the change in procedures and management methods that should be another one of the new year’s resolutions for a lot of enterprises. Like in the case of analysis of the organisational culture, here also we can find many mistakes contributing to how the enterprise operates on the market.
The greatest effectiveness can be achieved only when you are aware what resources the enterprise has at its disposal and when you know how to use them. Losses caused by poor procedures can go unnoticed and only the analysis of activity shows just how big they are.
Let’s use an example here. A simple task of scanning documents and sending them to respective departments can take long working hours every day. Introduction of the LEAN methodology helped an enterprise to save over 40 hours a week on that task. All it took was to rebuild the process and equip the employees with an additional machine. This is only an example but it shows perfectly that even small changes have the potential of influencing the operation of the entire enterprise greatly.
Change vs. people
In fact, it is the employees themselves that are a huge wildcard when introducing changes. They may fear losing their position, having more duties or being delegated to other tasks. Hence – If we decide to introduce changes – we have to communicate them to our subordinates well. It might be that many of them do not know management methodology we have chosen. Lack of communication is the biggest mistake, which may end up creating conflicts.
Enterprises helping manage changes in enterprises come to the rescue. They ensure appropriate trainings, their employees are a part of a team and can discharge the tension forming in such situations. So if we worry about lowered morale, worse performance etc., it is worth using the help of people with experience.
If we make a decision, it is important to create a plan to implement it. Every goal must be planned and have specific assumptions, milestones and budget. After all, this is yet another project that we have to run. If we do it well, though, we will be up to palpable results. So – let’s roll!