Avoid making any New Year Resolutions…! Research shows that most resolutions are broken within minutes of being made…! Most psychologists encourage the creation of new ‘positive’ habits that should to be practiced over a consistent period of time rather than making resolutions simply around stopping negative behaviour. Start with what ‘good looks like’ and factor in the true time it takes to make the change and make sure an appropriate reward is created for successful achievement.
Lower performance in January should not become the norm. Many people experience a slump in morale, motivation and subsequent productivity in January. This is a factor of the effects of a Christmas break, poor weather and just ‘getting going’ after the December excesses. Economists have suggested that the trading year is really only 11 months long because of the holiday season in August and December. We need to ensure that January is not added into an ever-increasing period of sloth and low productivity by ensuring that the workforce is fit, healthy and well. Even a small investment in health & wellbeing activity at a corporate level will have a dramatic and measureable impact on the performance of your workforce.
Make the most of the Budget cycle. For many organisations, this may be the final quarter of the budget cycle and with reductions in revenues and the need to drive greater budgetary accountability, now is the time to be thinking about how to measure the impact of the budget you hold and manage. Focus less on how to create budgetary ‘padding’ and create key measures of impact – it may just be the difference between success and failure for you this year.
Become more alive to the real world. There is no doubt that the external world appears to be getting tougher. Whether this is a product of media scare mongering or a reflection of some real seismic changes, everyone needs to be more commercially aware this year. Some simple precautions can help avoid a meltdown: Make your customer service appreciably better than the competition – even retailers have started to see that good products and great customer service make a difference on the bottom line of a business; Build a more flexible workforce – Hay Consultants report that employee satisfaction is likely to be less positive this year, but with less option to move externally, so the need to create flexible structures and increased opportunity needs to be part of any Talent Management or business strategy.
Change Management is back…! It’s debatable whether it went away, but the need for commercial awareness and the flexibility and innovative approaches needed to grow revenues in a tough climate means people need to be more personally resilient in order to make the need for constant change possible to realise. Developing emotional intelligence and mental toughness allied to improved health and wellbeing work together to create optimum performance in people. Popularised in books such as the “corporate Athlete’ we all need to be more comfortable with and in ourselves to ensure that we can welcome, accept and optimise the need for change.
Re-engage with relationships. The drive towards new technologies, social media and marketing has created workplaces where people often spend insufficient time building and optimising relationships. Most technology pundits agree that there is little new and exciting technology to buy in the short term before CES, so why not resist the urge to buy anything new and spend time getting to know co-workers and team members. Instead of sending an email to the person sitting in the next office, go and speak to them. After all, with all the great new technology set to launch later this year, it may be your only chance….!
Focus on Value. A popular saying goes thus: “they know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing”. With tightening budgets and the need for ‘more from less’, we need to ensure we have systems and processes in place to avoid cutting things which are easy to measure in terms of cost but which may deliver real value. Examples of excellent training and marketing initiatives being axed are starting to appear because the only measurable was the financial cost rather than a real appreciation of the value. This focus on the ‘wrong kpi’ can cost you the future of your company.
Needless to say, QED have solutions for all of the suggestions above – feel free to contact us for more information……?