Three questions for businesses to think about to generate success over the longer term as the “mid quarter” pause comes around

February 24, 2023

Business quarters all have their own cycle.  But for those with December year ends in particular, this relatively quiet period (from a management perspective) at the end of February often comes as a bit of a surprise.

So, rather than wasting the opportunity that this temporary lull can bring, here are three recommendations for some seemingly simple actions that can have a lasting impact for not only the rest of the financial year, but for years to come.

1. Is the business still aligned to its core values?

Many business leaders skip asking this question to themselves (and each other).  Often, if the firm’s values have been articulated clearly (perhaps in a nice glossy piece of paper or on a good looking part of the intranet) and the firm is making money then the assumption is that all is well with the business.

But, this assumption can be detrimental to a business – particularly if there is a sudden slowdown or recession.  In our experience, businesses which are founded on a set of core values (whatever they are) are likely to be able to rally together when times are tough, because everyone is in a place where they identify and feel “at home” with the values.

However, if the leadership team have not really checked in on making sure the core values are being upheld, then at times of pressure, fractures can be created quickly.

Obviously, being able to answer this question is dependent on business leaders actually knowing what their real core values are…

2. Do I need to give someone a new challenge to keep them?

The increasingly heard narrative is that people (and especially young people) are less and less committed to organisations and therefore employers will only get a short period of time from that individual before they move on.

Where such a narrative takes hold, then the first danger is that the company takes a short term view of them and does not spend time and money in developing them (“as it will just be for someone else’s benefit”).  This has obvious issues for the business itself if the individual does want to stay longer but a skills gap has been created.

A likely better approach will be to firstly take the opportunity to work with the individual to assess whether they are the type of person who is happy doing more of the same or if they feel they need a new challenge.  If it is agreed that it is the latter, then this gives you and your business an opportunity to work out how you might make the role different – even if they keep ultimately doing mostly the same thing.  Have the confidence to let people grow within your business.

3. What is the one change I could make that would make things better around here?

What “better” means is, of course, subjective, but this seemingly simple question is infrequently asked due to the pressures and pace of modern work.

So put aside twenty minutes and ask yourself this question.  Even better, get a couple of colleagues together and talk this question through.  It is astonishing what simple answers can be found when people are given the space to think.

Should you want someone to help you explore your thinking on this issue, please contact Stuart James  in the first instance.

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