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6 Things to Reflect on About Your Business at the End of Each Fiscal Year

You have probably worked for someone in the past. Did your boss sit you down at the end of the year and do a performance appraisal? Did you ever wonder why they would take the time to sit down everyone in the company to ask questions? There is a good reason for it actually. If you are a boss or a leader to people, you’ll want to follow suit and ask your employees what they feel about the business. This is good for a variety of reasons. You get insight on what others see happening with your business. Hopefully you’ve created a harmonious relationship with them so that they feel comfortable giving you constructive criticism.

There may be some things you’ve subconsciously avoided. This is something we all do when things feel too uncomfortable to address. Through talking to your own employees, they may reveal what you haven’t been able to. This can create business growth. When you ask your employees questions, you also make them feel like they matter, which is especially important to the millennial generation. You can also take the time to reflect on a few questions for yourself. This will allow you to go into the new year with some exciting changes and new focal points. Here, we’ll give you the structure so you know what questions to ask yourself regarding your business.

 




 

1. What Was Your Turnover Rate?

It won’t be too hard to track this if you’re running a fairly small company. If you can’t recall easily, that’s another thing to reflect on: how much you care and pay attention to the people working for you. While you may know exactly who has come and gone throughout the year, it’s important to ask who left and why they decided to leave. Analyze the person who quit and what was the reason for it? If you are losing good employees, you will especially want to reflect on what went wrong. This will allow you to make changes in the future so that you don’t lose more valuable employees.

Also, take a look at who you had to fire. Why did you have to fire them? It might be easy to place blame on the employee if their performance was low. However, you may want to ask yourself how you could have better motivated that employee. Maybe they would have exceled in a different position. Take time to really things about what it was that caused the problem in the first place. Hiring someone costs you a lot of time and money. Finding the employees, interviewing, and training can amount to a lot of money spent.

Maybe you’ve been hiring people who don’t really work for your company values. This is important to determine. Think about who your ideal employee would be, and what traits and expertise they should have. Maybe your training process doesn’t set employees up for success,  and it may need to be revamped. Maybe it isn’t the employees’ fault at home. Perhaps you have bad workplace policies that aren’t working. They may be demotivating your team or not allowing them to feel valuable. Consider all these things so that you can find and keep the right employees.

2. Do You Have Happy Employees?

How happy and satisfied your employees are can be determined by your turnover, but there’s more to it. Unhappy employees may stay at their job for years because they need the money. So some people are going to stay even when their heart isn’t in it. You don’t want employees who drag themselves out of bed and hate the fact that they have to represent your business every day. Maybe they don’t like their schedule or there simply isn’t a good feeling within the operation.

Allow your staff the ability to give you feedback about how they feel working for you. Ask them if they’re engaged, or pay attention to see if they seem to be. Are they excited about the work they do for you? When you know what their grievances are, don’t ignore them. Even if you can’t do anything about it, acknowledgment allows them to feel heard. This makes them feel important, and that matters for how they feel about working in your company. Even if your business is doing well financially, if your employees aren’t happy, it will eventually begin to show in various ways. Customers can tell if employees aren’t happy, even if they try to fake it.

3. What Are Your Health Benefits Like?

Yes, it costs quite a bit of money to offer your employees health benefits. However, health is one of the most important aspects to anyone. If you don’t offer good enough benefits, you aren’t competitive with other companies who do. Even if they pay less, it’s likely you may lose good candidates and employees you already have if you don’t offer them a means to get medical help when they need it. You might save money in the short-term, but your turnover is going to cost you. Health benefits are a good way to recruit really good employees. Consider this when you think about keeping valued employees.

4. What Are Your Relationships Like?

This question applies to everyone across the board. Your relationship with your family and friends are important because you get the support you need to remain consistent and upbeat in your business. Your relationship with your employees matters, because they’re the ones representing your business. If they like and respect you, you’re going to enjoy a positive work environment where employees are happy to pour their heart into your business. It’s also important to have really good relationships with your clients, as well as suppliers.

Even customers who are loyal fans of your business can be swayed by competitors offering cheaper prices and giving them more attention. Even when you have attracted clients, it’s important to keep them engaged. Giving them helpful information and letting themknow about your new products and services goes a long way. Ask yourself if you’re meeting their needs and offering them fair prices. Do you still give them the same great customer service you did in the beginning to get them buying from you?

With your suppliers, it’s important that you’re treated really well. This is where you’re the customer, and you deserve reliability and good service. Do you have to spend a lot of time on the phone trying to get answers? Are items often out of stock? Know that there are plenty of other suppliers out there who are willing to offer you exemplary service. If you’re not 100% happy with who you’re dealing with right now, consider your options. A cheap supplier might seem like a good idea, but if they are causing you to lose customers because they aren’t reliable, it really isn’t a good deal at all.

5. Did You Make Mistakes?

Nobody likes to admit mistakes, but it is the way to be better. Think about what you did wrong throughout the year and what you could have done differently. This is what turns mistakes into opportunities. As the saying goes, “every failure is one stop closer to success.” Don’t beat yourself up over it. If you can’t find any mistakes, keep digging, because you’re not being realistic. Did you take a risk that didn’t work out? Mill over what went wrong. This is how you learn and grow. Failures guide you to greatness, so allow yourself to acknowledge mistakes. Make sure you forgive yourself for them when you figure them out too. This might sound strange but if you harbour the fact you made a mistake, you might feel too afraid to be bold in the future. Then your business doesn’t grow at all.

6. What Successes Did I Have?

Celebrate the successes. This is going to boost your morale after going through some of the tough questions. What growth did you experience? What great memories do you have with your team? What special traditions have been created (Friday events or birthday celebrations in the office). Make sure to reflect on all the great things that you have done for your company and employees. Think about the increase in sales, and what you learned throughout the year.

Reflect on the things that could have been better, and celebrate the successes. Write down the potential solutions that can improve the areas that weren’t working. This exercise is really designed to ensure that your business can run more smoothly in 2020. That way, you will experience growth and create a strong and happy work force.

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Loraine Couturier
Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at lorainecouturier.com

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Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at lorainecouturier.com

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