Three important business resolutions for 2014

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The first real snow of the season was falling as I drove into work today. It was slow going but I managed to avoid most of the traffic jams by mentally reviewing route options prior to reaching congested intersections and detouring where necessary. When I got into the office, I compared travel notes with several office mates and discovered that, by thinking ahead, I arrived earlier and less frazzled than co-workers whose normal commutes are shorter than mine.

My commute made me realize that winter is here, and with it, holidays and the New Year will soon follow. So looking ahead to January 2014, it’s time to start thinking about New Year Resolutions for your business. Here are the most important three that all businesses should make.

  1. SET REALISTIC GOALS FOR 2014 – I’ve worked for some bosses who deliberately set the goal bar higher than was realistically possible to reach. The rationale was that the bigger the goal, the harder employees will work to achieve it. Truth be told, unrealistic goals often defeat an employee’s spirit before the task even starts. On the other hand, goals set too low may create a sense of entitlement and discourage extra effort. So it’s important to find the right balance by ensuring that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and can be accomplished within the required timeframe.
  2. IMPLEMENT OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE – Let’s face it, the quality of a company’s customer service can build or destroy the brand. Identify ways your customers can easily share stories about the exceptional service they received. One suggestion is creation of an employee recognition program which encourages customers to participate. Consider offering a one-time discount to customers who received quality service from a specific employee. Publicly share those stories via social media, the company website, on-site display area, etc. Don’t forget to reward the employees who delivered outstanding customer service. Which leads me to the third resolution.
  3. VALUE EMPLOYEES – I’m not just talking raises here. Although a raise is always appreciated, it is not the only way to show employees they’re valued. Employees also feel valued when they are engaged.

    I recently attended a seminar hosted by the FIRE Light Group and learned several tactics that encourage employee engagement. They include: leadership, communications, capability, buy-in, support, emotion, measurement and feedback. The Enterprise Engagement Alliance , one of the seminar presenters, explains the concept in greater detail.

In my opinion, those are the three most important New Year Resolutions that all businesses should make. Feel free to share your business resolutions for 2014. Leave your comments below or reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

About Delora Newton

Delora Newton is the Vice President, Advocacy for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. She has over 20 years of experience in state and local public policy advocacy and is passionate about building a business climate that supports economic growth and protects community assets. Follow her on Twitter: @Delora4Biz or G+

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