Are your professional New Year's resolutions similar to the ones you make regarding your personal life—lacking tenacity and commitment? This time can be different, says business advisor Lori Dernavich.
"Given the economy, and the current trend for downsizing, executives and managers should focus on creating efficient workplaces in which employees can meet their potential," says Dernavich. "Running a productive workplace will demonstrate their managerial skill and will serve to enhance their own careers."
Dernavich offers these resolution recommendations to help managers create a more rewarding work experience for employees in 2010:
1. Institute open communications with all employees.
Managing by walking around the office is a great first step, but challenge yourself to go further by scheduling regular face-to-face meetings with employees and engaging them with specific questions about their jobs and career goals.
2. Don't take employees for granted—praise often and sincerely.
Of course employees need to be told when they've done something wrong, but also focus on what they do well. Receiving praise for a job well done motivates employees to perform well for the company, leading to increased productivity.
3. Make meetings more productive.
Meetings that are run inefficiently can waste a lot of time. Here are several effective ways to make meetings more beneficial:
- Send out an agenda with support information a week in advance.
- Begin and end on time. Facilitate the meeting so attendees stay on topic, take turns leading meetings so accountability is shared, and assign dates to action items so attendees can be held accountable.
4. Develop a flexible workplace.
Employees are increasingly seeking flexible workplaces. To retain employees and attract great talent, you'll need to remain competitive with other companies by being flexible and offering options like varied work schedules, four-day work weeks, job sharing, and opportunities to work from home, etc.
5. Re-evaluate work processes.
Assess company processes, projects, methods, and communication procedures to determine whether they can be streamlined, removed, or replaced.
6. Educate and train employees at all levels.
Utilize the special talents those in your organization possess by offering regular "lunch and learn" opportunities by and for employees at all levels. Have employees train each other about what they've learned on the job or from attending conferences and workshops. Invite experts in to share their experiences and educate your employees.
7. Develop a succession plan.
Few companies have true succession plans in place. Focus on preparing your company for the unexpected.
8. Develop a solid vision for your company.
Create and codify a vision incorporating your company values, and communicate it company-wide. Actions are stronger than words, so if executives live the company's vision, employees will internalize it and start living it as well.