And so we come to the end of another year, meaning it’s the time to celebrate the successes of your organisation as well as those that have made it all happen; your people. December is the perfect time to reflect on the past year, acknowledge achievements and put together ideas and plans to ensure that next year is even better. So what will you celebrate and take in to next year to get the best kick start for your people and organisation?
We’ve explored many subjects around people and engagement in our column over the last year, however in the spirit of making things simple (one of our core values) this month we outline our three top tips of 2013; helping you gain to a clear head start with 2014…
Culture and values
Values are a fundamental part of any business; highlighting everything that the business does and what it stands for. In order for them to be lived and breathed at all levels, they need to be simple, easy to remember, and part of the day to day of ‘how we do things around here’. Your people must also relate, so make 2014 your year for ensuring that all employees understand what they are a part of, where you’re heading and how they can live the values in their roles – what it looks, sounds and feels like. Choose value champions to keep these messages alive across all parts of the business and make sure your leaders are driving them in your organisation. If you don’t have these in place yet now is the time – choose five or six core values and consult on them with your people, getting their buy-in right from the beginning.
Focus on communication
Each year our research highlights communication as the number one improvement area that businesses can make. Improved communication leads to your people feeling ‘involved’ and listened to, ensuring they perform at their best and are therefore more productive. Ask your people what communication means to them. For some it might be weekly emails, for others an annual survey giving them the chance to voice their opinion. Once you know, pick two or three quick wins and make them happen. Also get your people working together, through team building or collaborative projects, and using each other’s strengths to work towards a goal – this is a great way to improve and develop communication skills at all levels.
Technology has changed the way we work, allowing us to carry out every day activities much more effectively, and saving us time whilst we do them. One example which we are all familiar with are performance reviews. On everyone’s to-do list, however are often avoided or simply forgotten about because of the time and effort required to carry out. However these conversations are a critical element of an individual’s career progression so if you’re not seeing the result you expect from your performance conversations; find an online solution; making the appraisals process as pain free, simple and beneficial as possible. Goals and objectives of individuals can be recorded properly, producing a wide variety of reports which can help organisations identify skills gaps, risks and succession plans. Some systems also incorporate an employee survey; helping you with tip number two – giving your people a voice, allowing them to express their opinions, share ideas and even share hidden talents. In one survey, an employee working for a London based contract caterer shared his love of photography through their online talent system. He now takes photos of the new food offerings which is used in all external marketing. Not only has this saved the business money, they have an incredibly engaged and loyal individual…
We’re running a special competition this Christmas, asking you to share your three successes of 2013. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org your points and quoting UB13 and we’ll enter you into our competition to win a magnum of champagne.
Wishing you a successful, people focused 2014!