For many people, making a New Year's resolution serves as a ritualistic tradition that happens at the beginning of each year. Even though 45% of people make a resolution, only 8% of them follow through and are successful in achieving it. Although very few succeed, those who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t. Looking at those statistics, there’s no harm in trying.
2016 is alarmingly close, but don’t fret if you’ve not started planning for next year – now is the perfect time to start. Not sure where to begin? Let these resolutions form a foundation from which you can build and tailor your own business goals for the new year.
Set Realistic Goals
Possibly the most important resolution on this list. The main reason as to why so few people attain the goals they've set is because they’re not realistic enough. Without an attainable goal to work towards, it’s very easy to get discouraged and give up at the first hurdle. If the goals that you have set are impractical or unclear, you’re beginning the year already at a disadvantage. Start off small, both in terms of the timeframe you want to accomplish something and the number of things you want to achieve. Make sure that your goals are challenging but not impossible, ambitious, and most of all – relevant.
Invest in Training and Development
On the blog last week, we looked at how training and development in the workplace can be overlooked and how that affects employees. The conclusion was that every business should be following a training programme. The prospect of career growth is one of the biggest non-financial method of motivation in the workplace, so keep your staff happy by investing in a training programme that will benefit them. Not only will this benefit the workers, but as a result of extra training you may find that you can yield a higher profit margin.
If you can identify a hole in your skills or if you think you would benefit from extra training in a particular area, don’t hesitate to bring it up with a manager. Employers want their employees to be operating at the top of their game so helping them identify the areas in which there may be a skills gap is no bad thing.
The rise of eLearning means that training can be provided at any time and anywhere, meaning it is easier than ever to provide successful and cost-effective training in the workplace.
Training is the way forward to learn practical skills, but where do you go to learn about new trends or advances in the industry? Keep one step ahead of your competition by attending conferences, trade shows and workshops that revolve around the industry you are part of. Take time out of your day to read industry magazines, journals or white papers. Online networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are also great tools for connecting with industry contacts and arranging local networking meetings. Constantly trying to improve your knowledge of what is happening around you will have an effect on the choices you make every day. Industries are constantly evolving, make sure you are evolving with them.
Keep Track of Your Time
Time management is a crucial concept in business. Effective, efficient productivity is a concept that all workplaces strive for. Ever noticed how that when time is managed well, everything else seems to slot perfectly into place? A global study found that around one third of all executives are ‘actively dissatisfied’ with how their time is allocated. The New Year is the perfect time to put some effective time management in place that will really benefit your organisation.
Time management is a skill that all members of staff should be versed in and there are many ways of providing the right tools for workers to learn the skill; from booking a lecture or seminar with an expert to enrolling employees on a specialised eLearning course. Here at Administrate, whenever someone new starts at the company they are given a copy of David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’, which depicts a system for getting organised and staying productive. So far the results have been positive, with many members of staff commenting that the techniques in the book have helped to boost productivity in both a professional and personal capacity.
Be More Productive
Being more productive at work doesn’t necessarily mean staying late at the office or working 50+ hour weeks. In fact, when you work longer hours you don’t necessarily work better. Studies have shown that happiness also plays a big part in productivity, with happy people packing more into a workday than those who are unhappy. Introducing initiatives such as flexi-time and allowing employees to work from home can increase staff engagement and productivity by taking them out of the office environment into their own private office with no commuting time.
There are also plenty of practices that you can adopt at work that can improve productivity within an entire organisation. For example, effective email management is a process that can cut down on the amount of time that workers spend responding to communications. Some limit themselves to checking their inbox at specific times, and some organisations even go as far as limiting the hours during which emails are accessible. On average, workers are interrupted every 3 minutes and it then takes a further 23 minutes to return to the task in hand, so having good personal practice surrounding how and when to respond to requests can really encourage productivity.
Keeping it simple is the mantra to remember if companies are to achieve success in their 2016 resolutions. It may seem like common sense, but overthinking or overstretching to reach goals can make things a lot more complicated, which ultimately can have a negative impact. Although you may be creating resolutions for 2016, don’t assume that they have to be time-bound – enthusiasm is a great motivator so be sure to celebrate the effort and success that has been made between milestones. Most importantly, don’t get disheartened if your resolutions don’t go to plan. Industries change, companies change – make sure that the goals that are set are always focussed on what is best for your business.