Written by: Amor Traceski
Looking back on an extremely difficult year can be challenging, especially when the negatives seem to far outweigh the positives. Still, in setting your sights on the year ahead, it’s important to reflect and learn from both good and bad experiences of the past. Context is key.
Future plans are strongly influenced by past experiences. When you use the right context in reviewing what transpired, you come out with stronger plans of action to move your business forward. So, what is the right context?
According to Business Wire, “business context encompasses an understanding of the factors impacting the business from various perspectives, including how decisions are made and what the business is ultimately trying to achieve.” When you incorporate the importance of employee motivation to business context, that’s when it becomes the right context.
For many decades, Southwest Airlines’ business model recognized how employee motivation led to high employee productivity, resulting in the company being the most profitable airline over the last half-century. According to The Motley Fool, “they achieved this remarkable feat in a cut-throat industry by doing things differently than its peers.” They actively involved their employees in business strategies around operations, pricing, logistics solutions and customer experience.
The two main keys to employee motivation are respect and communication. When you respect the work that your employees do; when you respect their ideas and their time (both work time and personal time away from work), they’re apt to be more motivated to participate in the growth of the business. When you keep open the doors of communication, they’re likely to be more engaged and open to communicating, not only their needs, but also the needs of the business from their perspective.
Meeting with your employees to cover what worked and what didn’t work, and then discussing how to use the lessons learned to start the new year with a bang is one way to end the old year on a high note. The joint context that you’ll develop together will enable you work more cohesively and bring about excitement in strengthening the business together. Here are some items to include in the meeting:
(1) Call it a brainstorming session and provide refreshments. This is always welcoming
(2) Use a whiteboard or flipchart to write things down. Using color markers help to liven up the lists.
(3) If you have a large group, have someone lead with you or divide your group into several teams. Name your teams, e.g. red team, blue team, quality control team, customer service team, production team, etc.
(4) Compare the items to the goals you had for old year. Be open to recalibrating or removing a goal altogether, if it no longer makes sense for the new year.
(5) For the new year, create a “TO DO” List on one sheet of flipchart paper and, on another sheet, a “What NOT TO DO List.” Have everyone participate on adding to both lists. Make it fun!
(6) Ask for ideas on how to improve employee morale. You needn’t make decisions then; just be open to all ideas. (7) Communicate your hopes for the new year and get your employees revved up for the goals you can and will achieve together as a team.
Keep in mind that using the right context can also help build self-awareness, creativity, and learning. The right context will help you and your employees understand what you otherwise wouldn’t be able to comprehend on your own. With the right context, you will definitely start the new year with a BANG!
About the author:
Amor Traceski is a Human Resources Consultant with over 20 years of experience in human resources management in various fields of industry. She is also a motivational speaker, life coach and author of Been There, Done That: Practical Tips & Wisdom from Cancer Survivors for Cancer Patients.
Learn more about Amor online at https://www.amortraceski.com/