Exact Staff News
Tags: Establishing Measurable Business Goals, Growing Your Business, Growth of a Business, Set Measurable Business Goals, Setting Measurable Business Goals, Tips to Grow Your Business
Ever get so wrapped up in fighting fires, or managing your job, that you lose sight of the big picture?
There’s a cure for that – and it starts with better goal-setting.
The truth is, it’s easy to get derailed from achieving your growth goals unless you’re deliberate, consistent and structured.
“SMART” Goals Can Help You Stay on Track
If you’re unfamiliar with this common business acronym, SMART goals are:
- Specific: They should describe, in detail, the result that is desired.
- Measurable: Goals must be structured so that it’s very clear whether or not they were met.
- Achievable: Individuals and teams should have the resources, training and experience needed to attain goals.
- Realistic: Goals should be challenging, but not so much so that the chance of success is small.
- Time-based: Goals should have specific timelines so that they’re a tangible priority.
But once you’ve created those SMART goals, how can you ensure they’ll actually help your organization grow in 2016? Use these tips to move from “nice idea” to flawless execution:
Garner Support Beyond Your Executive Team
Involvement breeds commitment! To ensure your goals will be supported company-wide, involve your high performers and thought leaders in every step of execution.
Communicate to Get Everyone on the Same Page
Provide customized, plain-English documentation to each department, emphasizing goals that are most relevant to each group’s work. The better your employees understand what you’re trying to achieve – and how their daily efforts can support your growth – the more likely they are to help you accomplish them.
Create Cascading Goals
Once you’ve rolled out high-level goals, require teams to build measurable goals that support them. This encourages employees to develop ownership responsibility not just for their own accomplishments, but for those of the entire organization.
Revisit Goals Regularly
Meet monthly with personnel who are accountable for reaching your goals. When you get together, ask the employee who is responsible for meeting each objective to give a quick status update. If progress is on track, that’s great; but if growth is behind schedule, discuss the reasons and create a plan to get back on track.
Need Exceptional People to Fuel Your Growth?
Whether you’re launching new products or services, targeting new industries or increasing market penetration, Exact Staff can supply the right talent for your local or national staffing needs. Contact a recruiter today to discuss your requirements.
What do companies like Uber, Spotify and Dropbox have in common?
They’re three of the top companies whose innovations are revolutionizing the business landscape. These organizations aren’t just coming up with cool new products and services; they’re turning their respective industries on their heads.
How do they do it – and how can you accomplish the same? Here are five ways you can disrupt your industry and catapult your business to the top:
Don’t Believe the Hype
When it comes to industry disruptors, be careful not to limit your thinking based on widely held misconceptions. Here are three myths about startups and innovators:
- If you’ve been in business awhile, you cannot remain disruptive. The truth? Well-established companies can still attract big sums of venture capital to fuel innovation.
- Silicon Valley is where it’s at. The truth? Businesses in Boston, Chicago, New York City and around the globe attract notable investors and talent.
- If you’re not a 20-something Ivy-Leaguer, you’ve missed the boat. The truth? You’re never too old to innovate. Top industry disruptors represent every demographic – from Gen Y through Baby Boomers.
Learn How to Say, “No”
While the mantra “the customer is always right” may drive loyalty, it often hampers innovation. To create something no one has seen before, you must focus on what your business is great at – and turn down the rest.
Be Predict-ive, not Predict-able
To turn an industry on its head, you need to lead the way and set the trends (not follow them). Pay attention to what customers say. Educate yourself outside your industry. Read influential business content to help you identify the next big opportunity for your company.
Connect the Dots
Innovations often spring from a combination of two things people love, want or need. Challenge your team to find the intersection between two great ideas – and create something that brings them together.
Assemble a Killer Team of Innovators
The single biggest competitive advantage your company has is its people. If you want to disrupt your industry, Exact Staff has the talented people – thinkers, doers, leaders – to shake things up. Ready to innovate? Contact our national recruiters today to discuss your requirements.
Enjoying those 14-hour work days?
We didn’t think so. But unless you’re proactively handing-off non-essential tasks and projects, those marathon work days aren’t likely to get any shorter.
Your best solution? Start delegating.
Delegation is much more than a work/life balance tool; it’s a critical business process that can help you run a more efficient, profitable business. So until cloning becomes more full-proof and cost-effective, delegate these tasks to get them off your plate (while making sure they still get done correctly):
- Accounting and bookkeeping tasks, such as sending out invoices, inputting financial information and maintaining records.
- Administrative tasks, including scheduling appointments, fielding incoming calls, preparing correspondence and managing your calendar.
- Data entry tasks, including database maintenance and new data entry.
- Packing and shipping tasks, including sending out mass mailings and fulfilling product orders.
- Call center and customer service tasks, including handling appointment scheduling and incoming customer calls.
- IT support tasks, including troubleshooting and resolving computer problems, as well as training employees on new software and hardware.
Tips for Effective Delegation
- State goals clearly. Describe what the results should look like.
- Tell employees how to act. Should they wait for instructions, recommend a course of action, or simply act and then report the results?
- Provide adequate support and be available to answer questions.
- Plan in “revision time.” Send work back for a re-do if needed, with specific feedback.
- Make sure employees have the authority and resources they need to do the job.
- Recognize and reward outstanding performance.
- Know what NOT to delegate. If a task: directly impacts quality, innovation or finances; is crisis-related; or is confidential, keep it on your own plate.
Get Help from Your Staffing Partner
A national employment agency like Exact Staff can:
- Deliver the right people – exactly when you need them – to take on delegated tasks.
- Provide temporary support to “offload” low-priority tasks, while your skilled employees tackle more complex concerns.
- Be your hiring “delegees.” Delegate hiring, screening, and strategic planning decisions to Exact Staff. You provide the information. We do the work. You get great results!
Need to work a 60-hour week to get it all done?
For a country so obsessed with productivity, we sure do put in a lot of extra hours.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way! With the right strategy (and a healthy measure of discipline), you can easily accomplish twice as much work in about half the time. Here’s how:
Make Smart Lists (and Stick to Them)
Anybody can jot down a To-Do list. But, to become a true efficiency master, you need to take this productivity tool to the next level:
- Write your list at the end of the day – when unfinished items are banging around in your head, begging to be organized. Then, fine-tune it in the morning once you’ve reviewed your inbox and voicemail.
- Keep it realistic. Commit to finishing 1 major task, 3 or 4 secondary tasks, and 4 or 5 little things. That’s it.
- Make it practical. Break major tasks into smaller components, including time estimates for each (this will help prevent you from over-committing yourself).
- Stick to it. Once you put it in writing, hold yourself accountable and for getting the job done (this is where self-discipline is critical).
Work in Bursts
Your brain, like your muscles, gets fatigued after long periods of exertion. Research has shown that working hard for a short period, and then taking a “mental recovery break,” is a great way to rapidly restore a high level of function.
Schedule “distraction time” (e.g., to play a quick round of Candy Crush, call a friend or just stare out the window) throughout your day to give your brain a break. By spending just a few minutes off-task, you’ll return to work with higher focus, attention and productivity.
While it’s impossible to eliminate distractions at work, you can use these tips to thrive in the “interruption culture”:
- Plan for interruptions. Schedule unavoidable interruptions – things like answering emails, returning phone calls and socializing – at pre-determined times. When you have a scheduled time planned for each task, it frees you to focus on other priorities for the rest of the day.
- Control your physical environment. To increase your ability to focus, create a more serene environment for yourself. Silence and hide your phone. Turn off notifications. Neaten your desk. Close open windows on your computer.
- Improve meeting planning. Meetings provide huge opportunities for improving efficiency. Distribute a clear agenda (at least 24 hours in advance) with discussion items, required preparation, and a rough timeline, so that everyone gets the greatest return on their invested time. And when you plan multiple meetings, schedule them back-to-back to minimize wasted time.
Need a Hand Getting it All Done?
Give Exact Staff’s experts a call. We provide a full complement of staffing and placement services to save time. Keep you focused on key priorities. Eliminate busywork. And relieve administrative burdens. Give us a call to find out what we can do for you.
It’s what allows us to relate well with employees, build meaningful business relationships and lead effectively.
It’s also what causes us to make mistakes.
Sure, we strive for perfection – but no matter how much experience we have or care we take, we’re still quite human. And sooner or later, we’re all going to mess up.
There’s an important difference, however, in the way that the most successful of us handle mistakes. Researchers from Michigan State University’s Clinical Psychophysiology Lab discovered that people fall into two basic categories when it comes to how they respond to slip-ups, blunders and missteps:
- Some have a “fixed mindset” and think: “Forget it – there’s nothing I can do to change this.”
- Others have a “growth mindset” and think: “Okay, I made a mistake. What can I learn so that I won’t do it again?”
Which group do you think the most successful people fall into?
It’s no surprise, really; the way you respond to mistakes can make a big difference in your success at work. By embracing mistakes, and then investing the time and effort into correcting them, you can actually make an error on the job work for you.
Let’s put that idea into action! Here are three mistakes that managers, executives and entrepreneurs commonly make – but that you should never make twice:
Failing to delegate.
No single manager can do everything himself (although many try). So until cloning is a viable option, you need to find the most effective ways of using your time and talent. Successful delegation actually allows you to get more done, by freeing you to focus on your essential job functions. It also helps you to develop your employees, by challenging them to accomplish higher level tasks.
Expecting different results from the same actions.
It’s the very definition of insanity! Still, some managers apply the same outmoded business practices time and time again, expecting different results. Learn from the error of their ways. When things don’t work out like you planned, don’t do it again and hope for a different result. Systematically test your process, approach or actions – even if it’s painful – to change the outcome.
Opting for the quick fix.
Instant gratification is everywhere these days, making quick fixes an attractive (and easy) option. The trouble is they typically don’t yield lasting results. When faced with a problem at work, take the time to drill down to the root of it. Develop a long-term solution instead of applying a “Band Aid.” In the long run, solving the root problem is the only way to prevent it from happening again.
Another big mistake you shouldn’t make twice?
Overlooking the benefits a staffing partner like Exact Staff can provide. With a national presence, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, we can rapidly deliver exceptional people to build your core team. Improve productivity. And seamlessly flex your workforce to match changing demands.
What can we do for you?
Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.
What do exceptionally successful people have that you don’t?
More advanced degrees?
Actually, the difference isn’t so much what they have, but what they do.
The truth is, you don’t have to be a well-coiffed genius with a Ph.D. to be successful – you just have to ask yourself great questions. So start yourself on the path to greater success today, using these three questions to guide you:
Am I waking up early enough?
The early bird really does get the worm – and successful people often rise before 6:00 a.m. to take advantage of those precious morning hours that many of us sleep away. What should you do with that extra time in the a.m.?
- Do something nice for yourself. Whether it’s reading, meditating, cooking a healthy breakfast or reflecting on your goals. As your day gets crazier, creating “me” time gets harder to do. Carve it out in the morning, and you’ll be happier all day.
- Get in a workout. Exercise improves mood, energy and focus – and puts you in a great position to tackle the challenges of your day.
What’s my top priority for the day?
No matter how full their plates are, incredibly successful people start each morning with a clear understanding of what they absolutely must accomplish. Before you plunge head-first into your workday, take a step back and take control of it (before it takes control of you):
- Don’t check your email first thing.
Yep, you read that right. Tackling your inbox without a clear plan for the day forces you into “reactive mode” – addressing yesterday’s fires, responding to others’ requests, and potentially derailing your plans. Stay in control by establishing your priorities first, and then adjusting them based on what you find in your inbox.
- Plan, prioritize and block out your time.
Create a simple to-do list, organized by deadline, and then do your hardest work during your own peak productivity period, whenever that is. Block this time off on your schedule, and eliminate distractions during this period to stay focused.
What difficult things do I not do enough of?
And on the flip side: What easy things do I spend too much time on? You only have 24 hours in a day. If you’re not spending those hours learning, challenging yourself, pursuing your goals and focusing on your highest priority activities, you’re holding yourself back.
Turn a critical eye to the way you spend your day – and get ready to create some new habits. Identify easy tasks which you could delegate to someone else. Then, find ways to eliminate time-wasters that derail you. Once you do these two things, you’ll have more time available each day to tackle the tough stuff that will really help you get ahead as a professional.
Exact Staff is here to support your success.
Serving organizations across the company, Exact Staff provides a wide range of talented people – and a full complement of staffing solutions – to support your success. Need to fast-track a project? Offload repetitive work? Free up more time for high-priority activities? We have you covered. Just give us a call!
Ever notice how some employees do the absolute minimum required to keep from getting fired, while others consistently go above and beyond your expectations?
The difference in their performance is called “discretionary effort.”
In simplest terms, discretionary effort is effort employees can give to go above and beyond requirements – when they want to. If your organization can find ways to increase discretionary effort, you’ll make huge improvements in productivity and performance.
So let’s get to it, shall we? Here are a few ideas for powering up your workforce – by driving discretionary effort:
Increase psychological ownership.
Your employees are hired to do specific jobs. Their compensation (and desire to keep it flowing) is what drives their performance, right? To an extent, perhaps. But for employees to consistently exert higher discretionary effort, they must have true “psychological ownership” of their work and the outcomes they produce.
Psychological ownership occurs when an employee’s job is part of his overall work identity. When an individual gets satisfaction from completing a task or accomplishing a goal – and not from merely collecting a paycheck – his productivity and quality increase dramatically.
To give your employees psychological ownership over their performance:
- Help them understand and experience the benefits of their work.
- Explain how employees’ jobs fit into your company’s “big picture” – and make an impact on the company, the community and/or the world at large.
- Focus on results and outcomes, empowering employees to use their expertise and best judgment to figure out solutions.
Use “AMP” motivational levers.
Tony Driscoll recently posted an article on Trainingmag.com which describes Dan Pink’s three intrinsic “motivational levers” for increasing discretionary effort:
- Autonomy – the ability to control ones’ actions and decisions in the workplace (i.e., greater control over how work is accomplished, as long as it achieves desired outcomes).
- Mastery – becoming a true expert in what one does.
- Purpose – creating reasons for “going the extra mile” that reach beyond compensation.
Essentially, Pink asserts that motivating employees with traditional “carrot and stick” methods (i.e., financial rewards, recognition and fear) yields limited benefits. To truly drive performance long-term, managers must tap into intrinsic motivators like the three listed above.
Want to get more out of your employees?
Ensure your team has the support it needs. Serving employers from coast to coast, Exact Staff provides best-in-class solutions to keep your organization functioning at optimal levels. Contact us to schedule a free workforce consultation.