Does the thought of a New Year bring excitement or dread? Or worse, complacency?
Should businesses make resolutions
? The answer is yes. Anything that creates enthusiasm and planning is a must. Enthusiasm brings energy and excitement; planning creates productivity, direction and growth. Everyone likes to have an idea about where they are going and why. So, what are the top three things businesses should plan for this year regarding their employees — now, not later?
1. Employee benefit programs:
Even if it is nothing, be sure you have gone over all the details of changes and how they will affect you in every scenario. Remember that every decision, including doing nothing at all, has a consequence.
- Exchanges/insurance — Enrollment is to begin October 2013. To do or not to do?
- Wellness — Health care costs are predicted to be in double digits again. Wellness is the only way to lower costs and also increase productivity.
- Risk management — Productivity and claims. Get your people back to work or better yet, keep them there, happy and healthy.
Define your company culture. If you have not actively molded a culture, it has molded you.
3. Tax codes:
Brush up on all the changes, from deductions to increases. No one is left untouched this year. It's best to know now how they will affect you and make changes, rather than doing so in 2014 after they have already affected you.
So, you have your resolutions, but how do you keep them? These are the steps most businesses lack, and it's why they are unsuccessful. They need a measurable plan and accountability.
- Include your team — Share goals and planning. Be clear and concise.
- Have follow-up meetings — Schedule follow-up meetings consistently and constantly, and make sure you keep them.
- Measure, measure, measure — If you aren't measuring or do not know how, then you need to clarify your goals.
- Be open — Stay willing to change the strategy if it's not bearing results.
If you are having difficulty pinpointing just what it is you need to change, hire an outside consultant
. They may not know your business, but they are able to see what you may not be able to see. There is something to be said for being able to look in from the outside. Also, be sure your consultant is sensitive to your business; they may not need to know your business to see what needs to be changed, but to recommend a resolution he/she needs to understand how and why things work so their recommendations don’t cause more problems than they resolve.