Start your work year with a bang
HR professionals tell you how you can boost your company's productivity this year
In his New Year's eve speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed an important lesson of corporate management. He looked back at what his government had achieved and announced what was in the pipelines for 2017 -in management terms, he effectively conducted a performance review and mapped goals for the new year. According to human resource professionals, such a statement made at the start of a year, energises and motivates employees and gives them direction.
Take stock of the past
According to Minakshi Arora, senior HR manager of an online gifting company, assessing the past year helps you to understand if you could have done certain things in a different way. “It also makes you look at other, more efficient ways to achieve those goals in the future,“ she says.
The assessment exercise helps a manager to set goals for both, himself and his team members. But the strength of this tool depends on how well management can communicate with employees.Subhash Menon who heads the human resources department of a broking firm, elaborates, “If the previous year was bad for the firm, then the manager should talk to his team about it. He should also use that time to discuss what they did well and what they have to look forward to.“
Arora says, “One should follow the SMART module (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) to achieve one's goals.“ Arora explains that a specific goal has a greater chance of being accomplished than a general one.Start off by asking yourself what you want to accomplish, identify the resources at your disposal to meet this goal and the hurdles in your way, chart out how important the goal is and establish a time frame within which you can measure your progress.
Menon adds that a manager also plays a crucial role in helping his team members to achieve their goals. He explains, “First, ask them what they seek in various aspects of their lives. Then, break it down into smaller goals and chart out ways to achieve them.“
Get your team to prioritise
Menon states that what sets a good employee apart from the rest is how frequently he or she achieves maximum output. He says, “If you have to complete a certain number of tasks in a day, you should start by figuring out how much time you will allocate towards meeting this target, then plan how you will go about finishing each task and whether you will need to seek anyone's assistance to fulfill them. Good employees always have their priorities arranged properly. It's the only way to get a job done properly. If you entrust a good employee with a job, she or he will begin by visualising how they will go about completing it. This is a practice you must encourage among other employees.“
According to Mohit Gundecha, founder and CEO of a talent assessment and development company, maintaining a perfect balance in all areas of your life is significant too. You can do this by following the `Rule of Three.' This entails not having more than three priorities in life at any given point in time. He elaborates, “For most people, family and work are their first two priorities. The third one could be a social cause or any kind of hobby or activity. Anybody who has a fourth item on this list will end up doing it at the expense of the first three priorities (this is when people end up compromising on their family time or are unable to devote enough attention to their work).“
Learn from your mistakes
For most people, the fear of failure is the biggest impediment to achieving their goals.Gundecha says, “A good manager must work towards building a culture of `Make Mistakes, Fail Fast and Learn Fast'. People in your team or in your employ shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes; even more importantly, they shouldn't be afraid to admit to having made them. You should endeavour to create an environment that has the right support system, one that encourages employees to bounce back and to be better than before. Mistakes should be documented and you should come up with an action plan to make sure they are not repeated again.“
Lead by example
The approach of a team leader is, more often than not, directly responsible for her or his team's success. Menon believes that a good leader is someone who is willing to take risks and show others the path to follow. “Take the case of Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Virat Kohli, who have led by example and have never been afraid of taking risks. They have always stood by their team. Likewise, a manager should support his employees even when the times are rough. It takes time to win the trust of your team and to build their confidence in you.Make it a point to assure your team employees that even if they haven't performed well over the last year, they will still be given a chance to prove themselves this time around.A good leader not only recognises his strong players but also knows how to get the best results from the average and below-average performers in his team. He turns their weakness into their strengths -this can be achieved through a series of training programmes.“