It seems cliché to start out the New Year with goals, resolutions, and plans; therefore, I was reluctant to present the New Year check list for a restoration organization. After pondering, I realized there is opportunity within the power of the New Year. For many, it is a time to set goals oriented towards improvement. For others, it is a time for change and a fresh start. New Year means different things to different people; why not give it meaning for your organization and run with the new and renewed opportunities it brings!

The following is a list of things to consider within your organization to harness the full clout and power behind the New Year. There is no better time to rally your team to achieve, improve, and reach their full potential.

1. Establish a Theme

Every year, I declare a theme for our organization. It is usually abstract but allows the company to rally around a cultural and organizational level concept. It allows the leadership to keep the concept top of mind and make tangible, meaningful contributions to the theme. Last year’s, January 2017 Restoring Success was the Year of Accountability, which coincidentally was the theme in my organization.

To give you additional ideas, for my organization, 2018 has been declared the Year of Efficiency. As I evaluate my organization, I observe duplication of effort through various forms and functions. In addition, there is an intense drive to get it done (which is great); however, sometimes at the sacrifice of getting it done in the most efficient manner. It is evident that everything must be done effectively and more efficiently than ever before. Lastly, we are switching operating systems in the spirit of managing the operations more efficiently.

“Year of Efficiency” is a concept that everyone can contribute to in different ways that will make the organization stronger and create opportunity. It will be backed with specifics. For example, one of my favorite concepts of leadership is the ability to “challenge the status quo” and to “think about your job in different ways.” The theme will effect change that will help the organization overcome some of our challenges, improve, grow, and create opportunities.

2. Individual Goals and Development

Engage the individuals on your team to establish goals. These goals can come in two forms:

  • Functional: Get the warehouse organized, develop a process, improve a performance related metric, etc.
  • Personal: Improve written communication skills, develop initiative and resourcefulness, improve time management, etc.

Make sure your organization has the tools, guidance, support, and leadership in place for individuals to achieve their goals. All of this contributes to an improved organization, employee engagement, and allows your team members to increase their value to the organization and grow professionally.

3. Marketing Plans and Strategy

Due to many changes in the industry, generations, and what seems like infinite approaches in business development brought along by technology, social media, etc., companies should evaluate and audit their approach to marketing or business development in 2018. As there is no right or wrong fit or perfect, one-size-fits-all approach or strategy, it is imperative to re-evaluate as you move forward. The following are key points to consider:

  1. Build long term relationships built on trust. I am of the opinion that the best plans/strategies circle back and lend themselves to your organization’s ability to develop long-term relationships that are based on trust and your commitment to do what you say you will do, and do the right thing by your customers and your community.
  2. Do you engage previous customers? Many years ago, I read a book that made me realize a critical weakness in how we built relationships was by not engaging our previous customers. Happy previous customers are a great referral source and also potential future customers. The concept of engaging previous customers plays into another concept, that of the…
  3. Net promoter. This is an approach that has gained quite a bit of attention in recent years in various industries and is considered a valid and important calculation for assessing your organization. Here is a quick overview: As a side note, I have been told I could be a salesperson for a certain thermos, fry pan, glass wipe, comforter, and belt because I was a passionate fan on the products. I have probably sold hundreds of units myself.
  4. Vulnerabilities. Honestly assess your weaknesses and address them. Evaluate your sources and concentrations of revenues as well as the approaches you are using in your strategy. Develop your approaches, strategies and flow of your revenues so that you are not reliant on a single stream or relationship.

4. Look into the future

So many things are changing from expectations to those we serve, our work force, and technology, now is the time to take the time out to look into, anticipate, and plan for the future.

May your New Year be filled with happiness, joy, and much success in all you do. Embrace the power of the New Year and prosper.