Are you ready for your business to blossom this Spring?
Apr 12th, 2022
The arrival of Spring is the symbol of newness. To one extent or other, many of us will spring clean at home or in our office to make the spaces we occupy feel fresh and new. How many of us though will give other aspects of our lives and careers a spring clean or create mental space to clarify what’s next?
In the business world, April also signals the beginning of a new financial year. Many companies are commencing their new hybrid models and asking important questions about what is needed to succeed and grow and how to motivate and engage their people in order to retain and attract the best talent.
In a meeting this week with the Senior Leadership Team of a property PLC they confirmed that ‘People’ are at the top of their strategic plan. They, like many, have gone through significant change and they recognise that without the engagement of their current and future workforce their commercial goals for the business will not be realised.
Now is the ideal time to pause and metaphorically ‘spring clean’ your business, your team and yourself to aid your personal and business success. Here are some insights and tips that may help:
Realign your company culture:
As many businesses finalise their budgets for the next year, most of us are still trying to understand what our hybrid model and culture will look like and how it will impact the day to day running of the business going forwards.
A company’s culture has never been more important as business leaders recognise that people are starting to ask themselves “is this a company I want to stay in?” whilst potential recruits are looking in and asking “is this a company I want to join?”
Evolving a culture takes time, careful consideration, and engagement. Netflix has a company-wide document on its Google Drive where all employees can feed into its culture plan with suggestions and feedback. This is then regularly reviewed by its management board and changes are made accordingly.
To get started with a culture shift, you need to be asking yourself and your team:
- What do we want our company culture to look like?
- What are the critical behaviours that are key to our success
- What do we preserve/change to make that happen?
You then need to be explicit about the behaviours that are key for your culture so people are clear. This can be as simple as rules regarding client communication eg the turnaround time expected to respond to emails/calls. I recall a CEO and a team member not being aligned on the CEO’s non-negotiable rule of getting back to clients within 24 hours which resulted in the team member leaving the team eventually.
Motivate through rewards and incentives:
Leaders have realised that productivity is intrinsically linked to morale and organisations have become more creative in how they reward their people beyond financial incentives.
Time and experience have become a motivating incentive.
Tech firm GoDaddy has a monthly experience scheme for employees that has included everything from white water rafting to cooking classes, all in normal working hours.
To help staff feel fulfilled, The Body Shop and Salesforce are two of many businesses that give employees paid ‘volunteering days’ for them to donate their time to good causes and local community projects.
I am also hearing of more and more businesses giving staff opportunities for paid sabbaticals, whether that is for a couple of weeks, or for a couple of months.
Revamp your Meetings:
Making changes to improve working practices can have a huge impact on productivity. Having a ‘meetings culture’ is often a pain point for teams and management for many different reasons.
A client I have worked with for a number of years has assigned one day a week where no meetings are booked in order to allow at least one day for focussing on tasks – as back-to-back meetings on zoom had resulted in no time to execute. When talking to her recently she reported that this has improved productivity. On days when no meetings take place decisions are discussed via Slack and conclusions are reached quickly.
Another company has introduced the policy that all internal meetings are held between 10am and 4pm so that working parents don’t have to make a decision between attending a meeting and doing the school run.
Know what motivates your people
As business leaders, we can make assumptions about what those in our teams want from the places they work and their careers.
I often ask Managers the question ‘what motivates each of your team members’ and many acknowledge they do not know or make general assumptions based on their own values.
A good place to start is by asking some key questions:
- What do you most enjoy about your work… and why?
- What aspects do you least enjoy… and why?
- How do you like to receive feedback?
- What is your preferred way to communicate?
- What conditions do you work best in?
- What energises you?
- What are your ambitions?
- If there was one thing I could do assist you what would that be?
When you know what motivates people and reflect this in your conversations with them relationships will deepen, people feel understood, and their commitment to you and their work increases. It is worth this investment of your time.
When planning a spring clean of our house we often pre-plan a day or weekend to do it. The same theory should be applied to a mental spring clean. We need space and time to ask and answer challenging questions.
When was the last time you had a proper break? To find the best answers to questions we need to get our brain doing something different to normal. Doing something creative makes us think differently and helps us be creative in decision making. Taking yourself away from the ‘real world’ allows you the time to think.
A female entrepreneur and colleague who recently sold her digital marketing business used to spend one month of every quarter working from somewhere else in the world with her husband – that month gave her perspective and encouraged her creativity. Not everyone has that luxury, but the reality is that even doing something different for 24 hours can be enough to help you find clarity.
Rekindle your Purpose
When we get caught up in the day to day working world it is easy to lose your sense of purpose or the purpose that you first set out with.
Do you know what your purpose is; and is that what’s driving your decision making for your home and work life?
This is the reason why many people request a one-to-one Vision Day to clarify what their vision is. Often it is at a time of change, at the beginning of a new role, or at a crossroads in life when you want to make some important decisions about the future.
Happiness generally comes from doing things we enjoy. When we do things because we find it rewarding – this drives greater performance, energises you and brings you to life.
Richard Leider, author of The Good Life Inventory, believes that we should make sure as many aspects of our lives as possible are set up to meet our own intrinsic motivations. His formula for the Good Life is:
- Living in the Place you love,
- With the People you love,
- Doing the Right Work,
- On Purpose.
How would you rate yourself from 0 – 10 against the Good Life factors?
Over the last two years, we have been through significant change that has impacted the interaction between our business and personal lives. It has made many of us reassess our purpose and review what is a good life? With the world opening up and brighter spring days ahead, there is no better time to find the space to work on you with a Vision Intensive Programme or with your people on a team away day. I’d be happy to talk to you about either of these, to see if I can help you position you, your team and your business for success. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How to Thrive Professionally and Personally in 2022 (as featured in Prime Resi)