The success of a startup is determined by the people who make up its team. When looking to make improvements to their businesses in the new year, CEOs should focus their attention on the satisfaction of their employees.
Improving career growth opportunities, team collaboration and communication can help propel a company forward in the new year. Here are 10 resolutions for CEOs to improve workflow and job satisfaction among team members:
1. Realign around vision and mission.
Without a clear understanding of a company’s vision, mission and culture, employees can get lost in the dark with little direction or motivation. Remind team members what the company stands for and the grand vision being brought to life. The New Year is the perfect time to refocus everyone around the company’s mission to ensure that employees are excited and inspired by their work.
2. Clarify roles.
Not only should team members have a feel for the organization as a whole, but they should know where and how they, and others, fit into the team. Without set responsibilities and expectations, work gets muddled, employees take on extra work, and teams become burdened and frustrated. Clearly define and communicate the roles and responsibilities of team members and leaders across the company to keep everyone on task and improve productivity.
3. Monitor success.
Constantly measure success, assess what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments to improve the product or organization. Everyone should have key performance indicators to focus on with measurable objectives attached to them. Set up a streamlined review process to measure, encourage and reward progress.
4. Empower employees.
Autonomous workplaces are happy ones. Step back and give employees the room they need to complete the job they were hired for. A survey of 2,000 office workers conducted by AtTask and Harris interactive found that 35 percent of those surveyed said they lose valuable working time to excessive oversight. Check that employees have the tools and the freedom to do their job and to have challenging and fulfilling careers.
5. Invest in middle management.
Although the third layer of management, usually directors who report to vice presidents or those who are two to three levels below the CEO, are extremely important to the success of an organization -- they are often too removed to regularly connect with the CEO. Invest heavily in these managers, hold forums specifically for all middle managers, and check in with them to ensure effective team management.
6. Train and educate team members.
Improve and advance the skills of employees by launching an internal “university," essentially a professional development and training program, in which team members can earn certifications. Rewarding excellence in the program will help to sharpen the skills of top talent while improving job satisfaction and fostering career growth.
7. Improve communication.
Relying on email as the sole means of communication is ineffective and does little to build working relationships. Among professionals surveyed by AtTask, 43 percent felt that email takes away from their productivity. Instead, encourage face-to-face interaction when possible and invest in other communication tools such as a social video portal, internal webcasts, enterprise social networking tools and an internal blog.
8. Settle HR issues immediately.
It shouldn’t take months or even weeks to address personal HR requests and issues. Define a rigid timeline to settle these problems and the turnaround for other items such as updated offer and merit letters, and stick to it.
9. Streamline onboarding.
Evaluate the current onboarding process and look for areas of improvement. Ask new employees for their feedback within their first six months and take their considerations seriously. A more effective onboarding process will mean smoother transitions, a more productive team and less employee turnover.
10. Hold regular meetings.
Employees should have regular interaction with top leadership, key executives and the CEO. Set aside specific times for team members to meet with senior leadership to gain a wide perspective on company-wide goals and progress, and to voice their concerns, discuss problems and give their feedback and input.