Studies have shown that year after year, one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people fail to keep in their personal lives is the goal of losing ten pounds (if only!). When you examine the context around the resolution, the reasons for failure actually make perfect sense. On the surface, losing ten pounds seems like something that is very easily attainable. Losing ten pounds is certainly a lot easier, at least on paper, than losing one hundred pounds. Because the resolution itself seems so easy, it is equally easy to keep pushing it off into the future until you never actually start it at all. Likewise, if you’re actively trying to lose those ten pounds and don’t see immediate results, the resolution is often abandoned altogether.
There are New Year’s resolutions in the business world that are the professional-level equivalent of losing that fabled ten pounds. These resolutions seem easy on the surface but in reality are much more difficult than people realize. However, by avoiding a few common traps you can make sure that you find success for both yourself and your company in the New Year.
Resolution No. 1: I Need to Delegate More to My Employees
A resolution that is easy to overlook when the New Year actually rolls around is how you delegate responsibilities to your employees. In the nascent days of any small business, it is only natural to make a large number of the decisions yourself. Taking on responsibility is especially necessary when talking about things like goal setting and planning for the future. It is always important to remember that your business is your own and nobody else’s. However, you’ve also gone to the trouble of hiring talented and dedicated professionals in a wide variety of different positions. Though it can be natural to want to continue to set all the goals for your organization yourself, you should always involve others in these types of activities to show those around you that their opinions really do matter. Participation in the company decisions by your employees will ensure their loyalty, commitment, and dedication.
Resolution No. 2: I Need to Promote Transparency in My Company
Another New Year’s resolution that is easy to forget is one of ensuring transparent communication in your organization. More specifically, actually listening when your employees have something to say is of the utmost importance for a variety of different reasons. As your business starts to find success, it can be natural to feel like you should be doing “more of the same” – that is, steering the ship on your own. However, allowing other team members to have as much input as possible will go a long way toward making sure that everyone is on the same page.
Resolution No. 3: I Need to Lead by Example
One of the most important New Year’s resolutions in the business world that you need to make and stick to is to be the model of a perfect employee yourself. It is always important to remember that your employees aren’t just looking to you for general guidance, but they’re also using you as a template for how to behave. Their behaviors can be influenced in a wide variety of different ways. They can look to you to see when it’s time for a little levity and when professionalism needs to be front and center.
The concept that you need to remember is one of leading by example. If you behave the way you want others to behave and treat everyone with the utmost respect, those behaviors will be replicated by your employees throughout the year. You will set the tone that everyone else will follow, which will lead to a much better workplace overall. However, it is much easier to give yourself a pass for certain types of behaviors than to give the same pass to others. Hold yourself to the same high standard that you hold your employees and you will be rewarded for it.
Once you have made these resolutions a matter of habit and a part of your organizational culture, you can come up with new resolutions to keep. In a way, there can never be an end to making (and keeping) new resolutions! What are some of the resolutions you have made for your business? Have you been able to attain them? We would love to hear about them from you.
About the Author: Shafat Qazi, Founder and CEO of BQE Software, is an engineer-turned-entrepreneur who created the most-awarded time billing software ever, BillQuick, while still in college. He set out to make time tracking, billing, and project management easier for engineers as well as all service professionals and continues to perfect BQE Software products hands-on today.