For many organizations, the beginning of a New Year is the perfect time to address the to-do list from the previous year or set goals for the new one. It’s a great way to focus the organization on the key priorities for the year ahead. As you make your list of resolutions, consider these three small changes you can make to your workplace to increase productivity and reduce turnover.
One: Think positively for 5 seconds. Small and mid-size organizations are constantly under stress. You need to do more with less. Stay on top of the recent changes – business and regulatory – in your state and industry. Keep employees happy and motivated. The list goes on. It’s easy to feel the burden and give in to negativity. So try this simple trick: when presented with an issue, take five seconds to reflect before you react. Five seconds doesn’t seem very long, but it’s long enough to reframe the issue in a positive light, or to return to your company’s mission and core values. Try it for a few weeks and before long, it will become habit. Then train your team to do the same.
Two: Say thanks. In the hurry of everyday life, we often forget to thank those that make it possible: our employees. Some organizations choose to recognize their employees through year-end bonuses or holiday gifts or cards. If those options are not feasible, try a simpler approach. Write your employees a quick email thanking them for their contributions. If you can include something specific and personal about an employee’s individual contribution, and connect it with your organization’s mission or goals, it will mean even more.
"Try this simple trick: when presented with an issue, take five seconds to reflect before you react."
Three: Put down your phone and turn off your email. When an employee walks in to discuss an issue with you, turn off your computer monitor and give that person your full attention. With so many methods of communication these days, if your employee is taking the time to speak with you face to face, it’s because that person really values your personal attention on the issue. It may be difficult to focus exclusively on the issue, but doing so will make the conversation more efficient, reduce the risk of a miscommunication, and strengthen your relationship with that person.