How Do We Start the Year Off Right?

How Do We Start the Year Off Right?

Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe but we’ve turned the page on 2015 and another year has begun. The very start of the year-NOW!-is the perfect time to take a close look at a few critical areas of your business and kick things off in the best manner possible.

Assess your Human Resources and adjust accordingly:

I think that most Business Owners would agree that people are the lifeblood of their business. They are your BEST ASSET. With the right staff, your business can soar; the wrong staff will leave you scrambling.

All Business Owners should ask themselves:

  • Do I have the best employees on my team to ensure our work is executed at a high quality and exceeds our client’s expectations?
  • Am I staffed not just for current work but also projects in the pipeline?
  • Is my compensation plan fair and does it motivate my staff?
  • Can my employees grow with the company? Is there a career path for advancement?
  • Have I guaranteed an adequate level of training and coaching?
  • Can my supervisors and co-managers effectively oversee their departments?
  • Are my employees happy?

If you can answer “YES” to these questions, you’re doing a great job already. If not, the beginning of the year is when you must assess your human resources, determine gaps in skills and competencies, and adjust accordingly. A high performing and engaged staff can help you to achieve the business goals that you have established for 2016. Need more employees? See below for tips for effective onboarding.

Is your Onboarding effective?

Do you have plans to add new staff in 2016? How you integrate these new employees into your organization is critical to their success. The more effectively you Onboard new staff, the more productive s/he will be and in a shorter amount of time too. And let’s not forget about your customers. More engaged and knowledgeable employees will improve the customer experience as well. Remember: Onboarding starts before the new employee’s first day on the job.

As the boss, how can you help to ease the transition? Here are (3) three easy ways:

  1. Announce the new employee to the entire company. Include their background information and perhaps include a picture as well. They will feel less intimidated and encouraged to meet new people.
  2. Create a “welcome package” for the new employee and send it to their home before their scheduled first day of work. Include information about the company and their department in addition to the Employee Handbook. Include a personal note so they feel valued before they even start.
  3. Prepare their office so they have all the tools to do their job. It’s hugely frustrating for a new employee to begin work without a computer, let alone to see that their office isn’t set up for their arrival.

A positive Onboarding experience will go a long way to ensure a solid return on the time and money associated with recruiting and hiring your new staff members.

Who does what and how are they reporting it (aka procedures and documentation)?

Business is highly fluid and things change. There’s no better time to review your existing procedures and documentation than right now! The procedures that were in place last year might not be effective today; the jobs that you carefully documented in the past may have significantly changed or may no longer be in existence at all. Documentation should be done when there is a task that must be done continuously and is mission critical. Bottom-line documentation will provide you with peace of mind and confidence:

  1. You will have a blueprint for the functional responsibilities associated with each position so that work can go on effectively if and when an employee is ill, on vacation, or leave or no longer with the company.
  2. You will have a clear assessment of your operations and workflow to determine if both are efficient or if changes need to be made. Effective workplace improvements can be made only when there is clarity and a comparison between what “is” before determining what “could” be.
  3. You will be better able to determine what workplace training is required to bring your employees up to speed on their job responsibilities.
Effective job and process documentation are fundamental to the success of a business comprising the roadmap that shows you the way your business and your people should operate to achieve maximum results and success.

January 14, 2016