How to do it: Implement work/life integration programs that support a high quality of life at work and at home, as well as training and learning programs that help team members continue to pursue innovation and exceptional results.
“Spending the money to invest in team members helps them to be more efficient and effective today as workers and tomorrow as leaders,” said Andrea Battaglia, Chief Excellence Officer at Abacus. “In today’s fast-paced world, it’s important for employers to be there for their team members, helping them stay-up-to-date and tackle challenges with confidence.”
Invest in Your Planning
Short-term and long-term goals are essential for growth. Leaders determined to achieve more should carve out and protect time for strategic planning, as well as short-term goal setting. “Without a concrete and actual plan, your course is not going to be straight,” says Dunton. “You won’t be as efficient if you’re constantly changing directions, so the most important thing you can do is plan. That will immediately help you be more strategic, as well as help you be more productive in the long-term.”
How to do it: Be intentional with your time. Ensure annual strategic plan overview meetings are locked into your calendar, and follow-up with monthly or quarterly check-ins with your team. Communicate with your team that rescheduling should be a last resort.
“The time spent planning will absolutely pay dividends,” said Battaglia. “People who plan are less stressed, more organized, more focused, and ultimately, more productive and effective. Leaders who plan, who encourage their teams to invest in planning, are high achievers.”
Invest in Your Policies
Close Slack, put down your smartphone. It’s time to go back to the basics. Writing policies and standard operating procedures are foundational to any business being their best – but also so easy to ignore. But policies are empowering to employees to know what framework they’re operating in, as well as clear expectations for outcomes. “We call it an entrepreneurial corporate culture – you have the freedom within a framework, and that can lead to big wins for an individual and organization. It’s the best of both worlds.”
How to do it: Gather your leadership team and begin to develop categories of policies that need to be in place. Never written a policy for your business? Sit down and start writing down step by step instructions for the most important actions taken in your business.
“Policies shouldn’t be so stringent that you cannot move forward,” said Battaglia. “Procedures, guides, one-sheeters, written policies, any way they’re formatted, can add purpose, consistency and clarity for what your team is doing. It’s not the letter of the law, it’s the spirit of the law.”
Regardless of your policies’ current status, make it a practice to review and update policies annually. Then, communicate policies and procedures clearly, over and over again – in every onboarding, every team meeting, every retreat.
“People, planning and policies should be adapted as the size and needs of your organization change,” says Dunton. “It’s a never-ending but essential process. But investing in these key areas will allow you to be the best of the best. You’re going to get higher productivity, higher levels of excellence, and better results. That’s what makes any business successful.”