Smarter Business Practices for New Year Success

December is a busy time of year for all of us. While we rush to complete those end of year jobs, enjoy the team Christmas party, deliver client gifts, solidify holiday plans; it can seem like an odd time to be thinking about smarter business practices that could drive success in the new year. Yes, January is synonymous with new year’s resolutions and goal setting, but what if you took some time now in December to assess your operations and effectiveness? You could give your business a head start to a successful 2018.

We recently started exploring the idea of “working smarter, not harder”. Such a cliché. But what does it mean for you in your role? What does it mean for your business? In HR positions like ours, working smarter means better leveraging our time. By this I mean maximising the time spent on delivering value and expertise to our people and our client’s people, while minimising time on everything else. This can often be tricky as it’s easy to argue that everything we do in our business is about adding value and expertise.


So who does what and why?

It feels like we ask ourselves this question every month. Which isn’t to say people’s roles in our business change monthly. Rather, the fluidity of our markets and the changing needs of our people and clients mean we need to constantly check the practical value of what we are doing and why we are doing it. We often ask ourselves, is what we are doing still relevant and is it adding value that only we can deliver?

Take time to reflect on the needs of your own business, the needs of your customers, and most importantly, the needs of the people within your business. You can start by asking a few questions: Are your people in the right role for them? Are they using their expertise to their full potential? Are there any functions that are no longer critical to your value proposition?

Tough questions? Sure. But what is awesome about this exercise is that it benefits everyone. Genuine communication with your people on these topics, centred on adding value and leveraging expertise, provides your team with opportunities to broaden their skills, to develop themselves and, in partnership with you, extend their potential. You are creating a space for “smart not hard”.


And… who does what and why?

That’s not a typo. Ask yourself again, who does what and why? Ask, what contribution your people make, beyond their skills, to your purpose. And why is that contribution healthy, inspiring, constructive… or not? As the end of the year approaches, this is the time to set the path for success, to check your organisation’s culture, vision and values. Do they align?

At our recent annual conference Geoff Crews, Owner / Director of Forsythes Recruitment, spoke about the James Kerr book Legacy, and turning vision into action, purpose into practice and pressure into results.

A business cannot succeed, it cannot fulfil its purpose, without motivated people practicing their art powerfully and effectively each day. Its people cannot succeed without clear direction, meaningful leadership or an understanding of your expectations. The exceptional employees will leave. And the underperformers will stay.

As we countdown to Christmas and move towards the new year, this is a good time (well, any time is a good time) to talk to your people. Take time to ask; What do you need? Why do you care? How can we help? And share with them what you need, why you care, and how they can help. They will appreciate it.

If your business is growing, changing, pushing, creating, thriving, questioning – striving for smarter business practices or looking to just be better (like ours is) – drop me an email to let me know.


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