New Year’s resolutions are a tradition, especially in the first weeks of January. In our personal lives, we like to set various goals. Achieving them, though, is a different story. The situation in business is analogous, and it seems that making resolutions and setting goals for the New Year is positive as it is connected with development and strategy. However, it is key to find the right idea for the resolutions, analyze them, and, finally, keep them. This article presents how to choose resolutions and how to prepare yourself for them in a nutshell.
The number of potential New Year’s resolutions for business is unlimited, but what you should focus on are the positive aspects. Both in business and personal life, we always aim at development. Therefore, the resolution should be connected with something that will help the company get to the next level—we need to remember that the next level for a company may have different definitions. Business and private life are two different dimensions-in business, we often function in a team, and that should be an aspect we give special attention to. It is usually the entire team, and not the individual, who is responsible for business success, and the team is composed of employees. Every person in the company must contribute to the accomplishment of the goal; this will drive the team to work even harder and make every single employee smile after we reach the final and positive result. The smiles and sense of satisfaction at the end will make everything worthwhile.
When setting your goals, it is good to remember the SMART model—it is a pretty commonplace but effective method of goal formulation. The SMART acronym comprises five components that determine the methods of goal formulation. What are the most important factors in this case?
- Specific: the goal must be easy to understand; it must be formulated clearly and leave no room for ambiguities in interpretation, especially when dealing with a team and business.
- Attainable: the goal must be formulated in such a way that the goal’s accomplishment progress can be expressed in numbers, or at least a clear “verifiability” of its accomplishment must be possible. If we plan something, we should be able to check if we have accomplished it.
- Achievable: an overly ambitious goal makes it harder to believe in its accomplishment and, thus, affects the motivation to accomplish it. It is a crucial element in the planning of goals for the next year; we have to set realistic goals and not those that are virtually unachievable. The more light we see in front of us, the more eager we are to head toward it. We should set our goals gradually to be able to finally reach the ultimate one.
- Relevant: the goal should be an important step forward, at the same time providing a specific value for the one who will strive to accomplish it. It is the aspect that usually causes the development of our business and the entire team of employees.
- Time-bound: the goal should have precisely determined time frames within which we are to accomplish it. If we want New Year’s resolutions to be the foundation for our actions, the ideal time frame should be, obviously, the entire year, but there would be nothing wrong with breaking the goals into smaller steps to pursue and measure.
The SMART method appears in many scientific studies or general business articles, but to put it bluntly-it is an ideal goal-setting concept. Many experts refer to the SMART method as being simply effective. We also rely on it every day, and it works well. Analyzing all the above conditions, it is difficult to leave any of them out, as our goals will simply turn into a mess and we won’t get any effects.
What goals should we choose for our business in the New Year? We have some special ideas!
Implementation of a new tool in our company
New Year, new me- New Year, new company. There’s something about it. At the beginning of the year, there is always great interest in various systems, tools, or programs that support work. There are a plethora of such solutions, depending on the industry. Recently, the most popular solutions include, for example, project and task management systems that organize the work of the entire team. If your work is currently based on tasks assigned orally or by e-mail and your tools are mostly Excel sheets, the implementation of a solution of this type will be a great step forward for your company. When is the right time to do it? At the beginning of the year, obviously.
The right tool for project and task management is a solution to form a task and communication platform for the entire team. Just imagine it. Every team member finally knows what he or she is responsible for, and what the deadline is, and can communicate with the entire team on a current basis. Everything leaves a trace in history, so there is no need for constant questions. Additionally, you share a calendar, a place for file and document management, or an in-built messenger that lets you communicate in any configuration. This solution also includes a mobile app, offering ongoing access and smartphone compatibility.
Remember that the implementation of solutions of this type involves the provision of multiple mechanisms and opportunities for your team to work faster, better, and more efficiently. That’s not all, though. Additionally, you, as the manager, finally get control over all tasks in the company. You must admit that it sounds at least interesting. Therefore, it’s high time you chose the right tool for your work specifics—not all tools have all those functionalities, and the market offers a broad selection, depending on how your company functions. You have to make sure the program is simple and intuitive, functional, in the Polish language, and with good support.
If we are to recommend anything, it will surely be IC Project, i.e., a 100% Polish solution offering all of the above functionalities. All that, plus special implementation services as well as ongoing care at all stages of work. You decide on a tool and then watch your team work daily. Keeping a New Year’s resolution? Yes, in an instant.
A selected performance goal for every department.
What’s it all about? When choosing the goal for the company, we can set a total example-improving the company’s profitability by 50%. However, what’s the impact of employees from all departments on it? Pretty low. And the goal is so unspecific that nobody knows what needs to be done to accomplish it. We prefer to set a realistic performance goal for every department; how do we do it? It’s best to explain with an example. We have a marketing department that usually runs several advertising campaigns in a year—looking from a historical perspective, from 2 to 5 campaigns in 365 days. Thus, based on an analysis of the situation carried out together with the marketing team, we can set a goal for the next year, i.e., 6 advertising campaigns in various forms. It is a goal we have not accomplished so far, but it is achievable, isn’t it? We do think so.
Following this line of thinking, let’s look at the customer service department. It is a department that frequently has an impact on direct contact with our clients, their education, or the transfer of key information. In this case, a realistic goal could be, for instance, an extension of the entire help center. Currently, we have 15 guides and 30 FAQ items—we have set straightforward and clear goals. We want to close the next year with 25 guide episodes and 45 FAQ items. Everybody knows what the goal is and how to accomplish it. Let’s face it, this work can only yield benefits. The bigger the help center, the less work for the customer service department employees.
We hope that the above examples illustrate well how to work out a straightforward and clear goal for every department. We believe it is a better form of work improvement and, thus, the accomplishment of business goals for the entire company. Let’s now imagine a situation where every department meets those little additional requirements during the year; the leap forward for the entire company will be much more significant and, after all, that’s all we care about.
How about a new work methodology?
To an extent, it may be connected with tool implementation, but it may also function in aspects that are incompatible with each other. Every company and every team has its arrangements and schemes they follow. A New Year’s resolution might be an ideal solution to change something, introduce a new structure, and thus, improve something. For example, the sales department holds quarterly meetings where the results are summed up and new goals are set for the next quarter. Maybe a change should be made to hold such meetings at the end of each month. This way, we can mitigate risk and introduce a solution, resulting in a potential adjustment of plans or implementation of other alternative solutions.
Looking at it from a different angle, and undoubtedly interesting solution could be the setting of a weekly, biweekly, or monthly (cross out or check as appropriate) meeting for the entire team. If your company does not use this solution, we recommend it. Why? Because it is a perfect solution to talk to the entire team, discuss the past period and present the plan for the next one. Furthermore, it is a team-building opportunity. You certainly need to remember that these meetings can not be boring. They must be held in a specific but rather casual form. For example, every Monday at 10:00 AM we meet to have a cup of coffee in the conference room, and the entire meeting lasts 45 minutes. Everybody can speak their mind, use this forum to talk about projects, and, if needed, tell some jokes. You need to supervise all of this and have an agenda ready to use if required. A good idea for something new for the New Year? It seems so, but you are the one to decide on its form.
There can be many ideas for New Year’s resolutions, but we hope that the above proposals will broaden your way of thinking a bit. Thus, you can choose one of our ideas or come up with something unique for your company. Just remember, you can set many goals, but not too many. You need to find the golden mean in everything—a resolution and a goal can be set for every team, individual employee, or yourself as the manager. What could it be? Maybe a team-building event once a quarter or every six months? The team will not have much to say on this, but you will be responsible for organizing it. We can assure you that it will be a pleasure for everybody to participate in it.
We wish you all the best in accomplishing your goals in the new year!