Congratulations, you have officially survived 2020! If you feel like you’ve just leveled up in life, it’s because this was a tough year. Looking back at January 2020, many of us had set lofty goals of how our businesses would reach new heights this year. And for most of us, we ended up shifting our focus from one of thriving, to simply surviving by December.
With a lot of uncertainty still surrounding us as we head into 2021, you may be wondering if it’s even worth it to make New Years Resolutions if they’ll only be dashed again by global pandemics, stifling legislation, and–let’s be honest–who even knows what else.
So this year, we’re doing New Years Resolutions a bit differently. We’re focusing on the things that are still in our control, and building up ourselves, our businesses, and our teams for success once our external environment has become a bit more predictable. With that said, here are our top 6 business resolutions for 2021, and how you can reach them. (Even if the sky is falling.)
1. Learn to delegate, and do more of it!
Were you one of the (many) business owners who ended up having to carry everything on your shoulders when the pandemic hit? It’s not an ideal way to run a business, and also not an ideal way to live! Sooner or later, the stress will get to you and you will hit a breaking point.
To combat this, one of the best things you can do is learn to delegate. If you are fortunate enough to still have employees (even if it’s just a skeleton crew!), consider training them to take on some of the additional work you have taken on. Even if it takes a bit of time to do the initial training, it will save you tremendous time and peace of mind down the line.
Making It Happen
A few tools that can help are a system to manage and oversee delegated tasks, as well as an online training program. If budgets are tight, you could come up with a free system as simple as “text me when you complete X task.” Just be cognizant that this can feel a bit micro-manage-y to employees, so you may want to minimize this to key tasks.
On the other hand, if you’re using a system like SDP Connect, you can take advantage of our Workflows module to easily send tasks and view completion statuses from within your payroll portal.
When it comes to training, an easy solution is to document and archive processes in your company intranet. Or, for a more robust solution, you can create and assign trainings through a Learning Management System (LMS) like SDP Learn. The added bonus of this is you can streamline training for your entire team, track progress, and incorporate both company training and state-mandated trainings like harassment prevention.
2. Go paperless (finally)
Do you remember when “going paperless” was all the rage, circa 2017? We may have made trickling attempts to go completely digital over the past few years, but chances are COVID-19 brought to light that we really never completed that goal.
Whether it be client files or even employee paychecks and records, with the advent of “work from home”, 24/7 digital accessibility is more important than ever.
Making It Happen
Reach this goal by grabbing a scanner and recruiting an intern. (Hint: do any of your employees have teens looking for some spending money?) If you’re still receiving paper checks, ask about adding paycards for contactless payment (and no more delivery fees!).
And ask our team about adding Employee Self-Service (ESS), so your employees and HR manager can access important data securely online instead of locked in a filing cabinet at your (now empty) office!
3. Upgrade your HR department
From implementing and managing new FFCRA emergency paid leave, to keeping offices safe, and crafting work from home and social distancing policies, HR teams were definitely working overtime in 2020.
As one of the most important departments to any business, it is astounding how few resources these teams often have at their disposal.
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey discusses the “P/PC Balance”. In this paradigm, P stands for production of desired results and PC stands for production capability, or the ability of the asset that produces the desired results.
To avoid your asset burning out (and continue to receive production of your desired results!), you must take care of it. Similarly, if you want to continue to have your HR Team perform at a high level, you have to support them!
Making It Happen
Follow-through is critical with New Years Resolutions. If you’re an SDP client, one way you can implement this resolution is simply letting your team know about their complimentary access to our HR Support Center full of documents, guides, and HR tools. However, if you’re a larger organization, you may want to consider some of our other HR tiers and add-ons to further support your team.
Even if your team already has the resources they need at their disposal, don’t forget to show your appreciation. Treat them to lunch with a Grub Hub gift card or Starbucks e-gift card so their next coffee break is on you. Even giving them a meaningful shoutout in your company chat could show them that you see their efforts and appreciate them!
4. Fine-tune your customer service
How do you keep a pulse on your customer experience? One powerful tool to gauge success in this area is Net Promoter Score (NPS). All it takes is a single question, “How likely are you to recommend [business name] to a friend or colleague?” on a scale of 1-10.
If you don’t already have a survey service, you can find these online to administer your NPS survey for anywhere from $0-$30 for a starter plan. Once you’ve put together your survey, all you have to do is send it out and manage follow-up!
Here at SDP, we’ve added supplemental questions to better understand the reason for the score. For example, is it due to system performance? Response time? Friendliness? Then, we have a dedicated team tasked with following up with clients who had an unfavorable experience to improve their experience moving forward.
Making It Happen
As a 2021 New Years Resolution, you could set a goal to begin collecting NPS responses after each customer interaction for the first 6 months of the year. Then, for the second half of the year, you could focus on improving your score by responding to the feedback you receive.
Generally, any NPS score above 0 is considered “good” and anything above 20 is considered “favorable”. Higher up the scale, scores above 50 are considered “excellent” and a score above 80 is considered “world class”.
Just remember, the more scores you receive, the more accurate your score will be. And as you respond to feedback and address your client concerns, your scores will improve. When we began our NPS program in 2018, our score was 53. At the end of 2019, we had increased our score to 76. And now, we are proud to be closing out 2020 with a score of 85. (“World class” service!)
5. Decrease employee turnover
Next up on our list of new years resolutions is decreasing employee turnover. Your people are at the heart of your business, and you can’t grow if you’re constantly having to retrain new hires to replace those who have left.
One of the most widely-accepted methods to decrease turnover is improving onboarding. This year, take a hard look at how you bring on new hires. Are they getting adequate training? Is training uniform, or does each new hire seem to go through a brand new process?
Making It Happen
Consider adding an Onboarding service to streamline and automate your onboarding process. Additionally, if significant training is required of your new hires, explore adding a Learning Management System (LMS) to distribute and track trainings. (And keep these uniform for all employees as well!)
If your team is full of seasoned employees, that doesn’t mean there is no opportunity for you to decrease employee turnover. Check out these articles for more ideas to engage and motivate your employees to decrease turnover in the new year:
- 4 Employee Appreciation Ideas to Motivate Your Team
- Go Underdogs! How to Help Underperforming Employees
- Build a More Engaged Workforce with Absence Management
6. Set short-term goals
Last on our list of New Years Resolutions is setting short-term goals. Sure, it’s nice to set lofty goals for your business for your 10-year plan and annual company pep talk about where your business is headed. However, without setting smaller goals to chip away at your larger goals, these long-term goals will never come to fruition.
Making It Happen
This year, consider your long-term goals and break them down into where your company needs to be at the end of each year in order to achieve your larger goal.
Once you’ve determined where you need to be at the end of 2021, break this down into quarterly milestones, and into even smaller monthly focuses. At the start or end of each week, look back to your monthly objectives and identify the action items you and your team need to accomplish over the coming week to get there.
The key here is breaking down your goals into small enough pieces that you can actually accomplish them. Discipline yourself to revisit your goals frequently to stay on track, and you’ll see much greater success at the end of the year!
It’s true, 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. However, there is still so much that we can be grateful for. We hope you enjoy these ideas for your 2021 business new years resolutions to make the most of the coming year. For even more tools and insights to meet your 2021 business New Years Resolutions, head over to our HR Support Center!
Need a little extra support? No matter your situation, SDP has layers of HR support that can help. Learn more about our HR Support Services here. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for even more business tips & news!