As you start the new year with a new zeal to take your business to the next level of success, there is one very important thing that you need to focus on apart from scaling up or optimizing the processes – looking for and identifying new business opportunities. For business growth and survival it’s crucial that you continually strive to reach new markets and win new clients or customers. Many entrepreneurs live under the delusion that if they create a product or service, customers will automatically buy it. However, in today’s fiercely competitive market, you need to put in a lot of efforts to make people interested in your products or services. If you want to expand your business, you need to keep looking for new opportunities that support its growth.
In the face of evolving global economy, rising competition and changing business trends, the human resources departments are particularly experiencing new and challenging situations every now and then. Developing and retaining a talent pool for companies is becoming tougher. Leadership positions are facing a serious lack of appropriate skills and, with the experienced workforce growing older and approaching retirement, hiring suitable candidates is becoming even more challenging. Besides, more and more companies are becoming multinational organizations, recruiting talent from diverse countries and cultures. Physical and emotional health of employees is also emerging as an important aspect that needs attention. Gone are the days when the employees used to stay in a company for long. Today, the employees are switching companies fast, seeking better opportunities, better work-life balance and more. Speaking of 2020, the year will be no different and the human resources needs to prepare for some big challenges, as anticipated by the experts, to be more impactful and add more value to the organization they are working for.
You got a great business idea and are preparing to become an entrepreneur with hopes of creating a success story. But, are you sure your idea has the potential to make it big? Before diving into entrepreneurship and making investments for your new business you should check if your idea is viable or not. Many businesses fail not just because of the lack of capital but also because of the lack of knowledge. Many entrepreneurs start a business based on what they think people would buy without researching what people actually want to buy. Validating a business idea requires careful analysis and experiments to check its true potential. Even if you have an idea of a product or service that would be completely unique in the market, you need to first carefully develop and shape your idea, considering critical hypotheses and assumptions. No matter how brilliant your idea is, starting a new venture without careful considerations might prove to be a waste of your time and money. Here are the important steps to test your business idea effectively:
Time has changed and so has the meaning of leadership. A leader is no more defined as a person with authority who tells people what to do. Today, every leader has a different style of leading people. Their way of managing, directing, guiding and motivating groups of people vary vastly and for being effective it’s important as well. The situation and the people working for you keep changing and it’s best to know the impact of different leadership styles to decide which one to embrace to make things work. An important technique of sharpening your leadership skills is knowing what works for your team and organization, and changing your leadership style to match the needs. To become a better leader you need to identify your leadership style and understand what you need to change or enhance in your style to be more effective.
Businesses today collect data at every point of the customers’ journey through various sources like digital clicks, mobile app usage, social media interactions and more. These data, if analyzed properly, can provide useful insights to make the business processes more efficient and productive, regardless of the industry they belong to. Companies have realized that the best way to gain a competitive edge in the market today is by providing a great experience to the customers. Data analytics helps businesses make better use of customer data to generate higher customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty. And, with data more accessible than ever, business that fail to deliver exceptional and personalized experiences to customers need to catch up with the latest technology that many businesses are taking advantage of. More and more advance technologies are emerging for analyzing the huge volumes of both structured as well as unstructured data, using which businesses can make strategic moves and better decisions, driving positive results while ensuring protection of personal data. As organizations are increasingly attempting to unlock the power of big data, the data scientists are gradually becoming the modern day superheroes. Let’s have a look at how data analytics is benefiting the businesses.
Different managers use different techniques and strategies, depending on the workforce composition and organizational culture, when it comes to managing the employees and their work. However, in an attempt to drive the team towards the desired result, many managers make the blunder of embracing micromanagement. Micromanagement is closely observing or controlling the work of subordinates, and is one of the most detrimental habits that can cripple the organization from the inside. When a manager or the boss constantly lurks over your shoulder or holds up a microscope to every single thing that you do, you lose the drive, morale and creativity. It creates stress, distrust, and over-dependence, making the employees feel that they aren’t good enough to work on their own. Micromanaging is the management’s way of ensuring that every task is performed exactly the way the authorities want it but the employees eventually lose confidence and motivation to take initiatives. Micromanagement usually begins when a manager is unable to trust the employees and that’s when they believe that it’s the only way the organization can succeed. However, in the process they ignore the negative impacts that can lead to some irreversible damages.
As a manager, you need to deal with a myriad challenges and one of the most difficult among them could be managing and fixing an underperforming team. Underperformance has many aspects like not achieving targets, low productivity, poor standard of work and the list goes on and it adversely impacts the organization in multiple ways. In fact, one underperforming team can damage the business as well as the morale and efficiency of other teams too. Inheriting an underperforming team could be a nightmare for leaders but if you succeed in turning it around you would certainly add a star skill to your resume. And for this, you need to analyze the problem first and then design an approach to turn those under-performers into star performers of the organization. Here are some strategies that could help you do that:
Motivating employees to perform at their best isn’t easy. It’s a delicate and continuous process that requires a lot more than just an annual performance review or going through employee files. Employees often lose motivation due to several reasons like burnout, poor communication, silos, etc and such employees can severely impact the health of your business. A survey conducted by Gallop revealed that unhappy employees could cost the U.S. economy up to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. On the other hand when everyone on your team is well-motivated and inspired, their combined skill-set and energy can help your company achieve any goal. No matter how many super talented employees you have on your team, if they are not motivated enough you will never get the results you want. Leadership includes a lot of responsibilities and providing the right motivation to the employees is a very important one that often gets overlooked. Motivation is directly linked to team success and thus it’s important to find out thoughtful ways of motivating employees.
Accountability is one of the most important traits of high performing teams. It has a direct impact on productivity and engagement and, consequently, results. It is also linked to increased commitment to work and employee morale. Accountability is about taking responsibility for an outcome and not just the task. It’s about following through and delivering what you committed. Accountability is important at every level of the organization and when every member of the team demonstrates accountability, it leads to strong and cohesive teams, where people trust each other and work together to reach a common goal. However, many organizations lack this significant trait among their teams and fostering accountability isn’t always an easy thing to do. Often, when employees aren’t accountable, the managers hesitate to call them out to avoid harming the work relationships or, worse, demoralizing them. Also, many managers micromanage or spill out their frustrations in the name of holding people accountable which, in turn, negatively impacts employee performance and motivation. Today, we all work in a collaborative work environment where we have to depend on others to complete tasks, and if people aren’t accountable, the efforts of the entire team get wasted. Holding people accountable is essential for team management and thankfully, there are some simple yet effective ways a manager can do this.
A team is much more than just a group of people and hence there is a significant difference between group thinking and team thinking. The times have changed and so have the approaches to business solutions. Team building has gained a lot of emphases lately and managers are putting significant efforts to harness the potential of individuals and channelize them towards achieving a common objective. One of the major responsibilities of managers or team leaders today, while building a high-performing team, is to inculcate and encourage team-thinking to facilitate better decisions and results. Team thinking is essentially collaborative thinking, focussed on a common goal, where every member of the team is willing to listen carefully and consider views and options for making the best decision for clients, organization, and individuals.