Are you experiencing winter doldrums? Easter’s over but no matter what the calendar says, spring isn’t here yet. The first quarter of 2015 has come and gone. How’s your year going so far?
Every year about this time a friend of mine schedules a “kick in the seat of the pants” review to keep him on track. Here are some of
the things he does to keep his energy high.
- Focus on urgent matters first. Never underestimate the power of instilling a sense of urgency in your organization. Make sure your “urgency” is powered by determination and opportunity rather than panic and breathless activity. If your schedule is full and you are continually overbooked, you may be engaged in the wrong kind of urgency. Consider where you are spending your time and if those issues are worthy of your attention.
- Engage your employees. The people who work with you can be a great source of ideas and motivation. Face-to-face meetings on a regular basis keep everyone on the same page and committed to the business. If schedules don’t allow for face-to-face meetings, schedule periodic MVP lunches with “potential stars” to talk about business challenges and strategies.
- Glean great ideas from your staff. Many companies are finding that there is gold hiding in their office and are bouncing ideas off staff members using virtual suggestion boxes and SurveyMonkey. Employees can vote on ideas, suggest slogans or tag lines or even suggest alternatives if they see opportunity for improvement. Everyone has a voice.
- Get rid of your problem customers. Are all your customers worth keeping? Perhaps not. Perform an analysis of your customers to see which ones contribute most to overall profits and cash flow. Consider creating a pricing strategy that rewards lucrative, fast paying customers and penalizes slow payers and unprofitable ones.
- Find amazing interns. I’ve touted the value of interns before. Interns are an affordable way of filling gaps on your staff and bringing fresh energy and new ideas to the table. Call your local high school or college and don’t forget about business schools and technical colleges. Talk to the Dean of Students, business or computer instructor. Describe the duties and number of hours for the position you are seeking to fill. Emphasize what the student will learn. Ask your contact to send resumes of students they would consider hiring if they had a business.
- Say “Thank You” more often. Saying thank you for a job well done can pay huge dividends. A survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals found that while managers ranked promotions and cash bonuses as two of the most effective ways of recognizing employee accomplishments, workers said they actually preferred a personal thank you or having a job well done reported to senior management.
It’s easy to get into a rut this time of the year and waste valuable time spinning your wheels. Take action! Schedule your own “Kick in the seat of the pants” review today!