While growth and improvement should be an ongoing goal for professionals and businesses, there is no better time to start than the New Year.
January 1 is a clean slate – a good time for you to make the right changes to your business that will improve operations, growth, employee happiness, etc.
Each business is different. In order to make extremely actionable goals specific to your needs, you should take a look at your business’ yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals, and work backwards to understand the new processes, or improvements to current processes, that will move the needle in the next 12 months. Here are five ways to make an impact in 2016:
- Improve your hiring/interview process – Scaling talent and finding the right people for your business is not only a goal for 2016, but also probably your biggest challenge in 2016. Everyone is looking for the right talent – developers, sales, marketing, etc. – and everyone is struggling, too. Do everything you can to fill the top of your talent funnel – and make activities that showcase your culture a priority. You should set aside time each week to uncover and nurture applicant leads. Once you have talent in the funnel, don’t stop there. You need to weed out the best candidates using a process that fits your goals. We recommend strict interview processes and schedules, including job tryouts, if possible. This will ensure talent level and culture fit. Want more tips? Check out our post on how to scale the people process which also dives into employee compensation, equity allocations, an offer and negotiation process, and leadership and review programs.
- Hold more effective meetings – With an increase in goals and responsibilities comes an increase in meetings with team members. It’s great to demand progress and keep projects moving with accountability and collaboration, but meeting overkill can quickly impact team performance. Make a goal to cut meeting times down, and only involve people that NEED to be part of the discussion. Often times, if you schedule an hour long meeting, you will fill up that hour instead of only using the time you need. Making a meeting “standup” will keep you aware of the time you’re using by spending it on your feet. Additionally, having too many irrelevant people in a meeting can create too many voices and can be very distracting if those people aren’t directly involved in moving the project forward.
- Focus on benefits & perks – One way to improve your employee recruitment and retention is to stay competitive in the benefits & perks department. All employees are looking for the best offerings, in addition to salary or equity. You should take a look at your current offerings, benchmark them against your competitors, or other local companies at a similar size, and see where you lack and where you’re ahead. From there, understand the budget you can use from 2016 to offer more to employees, or look for perks that are not as cost prohibitive, such as company outings or extra vacation days. Take a look at our post on how to build a competitive employee benefits package which also discusses insurance, 401ks, wellness programs, company swag, and more.
- Make your business more data-driven – It’s time to take the guesswork out of your business decision making. Again, it’s important to have succinct KPIs that you always working towards, such as increased sales, signups or retention. From there, create goals that will drive healthy growth and benchmark those goals on data sources & analytics. Create databases or spreadsheets that will help you visualize the data and sources of growth so that you can determine & focus on what is working – and what isn’t working – and always improve from there.
- Test, test, test – As a young or small company, you should be nimble enough to always be trying new strategies and approaches to better your business. Whether it’s a new channel of customer acquisition, or a way to automate a process you have been doing manually, there are other ways to operate that could make an impactful change on your business. If you have a solid strategy that is working for you, such as email newsletters or social listening, you can still test small, new variations on that approach to find new conversions. It doesn’t mean you have to do it forever, especially if it isn’t working, but at least you tried.
What new strategies are you implementing in 2016?