Reflections - Past, Future, Present
As we prepare for a new year we often focus on keeping/growing what we have gained, or minimizing what we have lost. We also tend to get tunnel vision on growth and what the new year will bring. And, we cannot help but reflect on the past year as we look forward to where we want to take our business.
Reflecting on the direction of your business is a healthy exercise to provide insight into the future. You can look at trends, customer activity, and all those operational things that dictate what we think the next year is going to look like from a profitability perspective. However, where we sometimes fall short is in reflecting on those “touchy-feely” things that have the biggest impact on the growth of the business. The reason these things have such a big impact on the business is because they have to do with people and people have feelings.
For example, if you had to stop for a moment and reflect on the past year, what would be the first three things that come to mind? Growth in profit? Growth in portfolio? Growth in locations or brands? But what if you were challenged to reflect on your leadership and what you have done to ensure the sustainability and growth of your franchises through your people? Or better yet, what have you done to ensure the sustainability and growth of your people?
Thinking about how you are engaged with your people is often tough, unless you have a performance environment where feedback is appreciated, in both directions from boss/owner to employee. So how do you know where you stand and how you have done with your people? Here are a few simple questions you can ask as you reflect:
- Did you instill confidence in your people throughout the year?
- Did you get what you wanted out of your people? If not, could it be your leadership style? Is there anything you could have done differently?
- Do you know what you are good at, and what your people are good at?
- Do your people feel empowered as employees of your franchise? Do you know if they feel empowered?
- Do your people provide feedback to you, even when it is uncomfortable for you to hear? If not, is there a barrier, or could they be afraid to approach you?
These are just a few questions you can use to gauge how your employees perceive you as a leader and a boss. As we know, often the largest operational costs are in hiring and training, and the answers to the questions above provide valuable insight into what the future might look like for your multi-unit franchise business regarding retention and turnover.
This holiday season, give yourself the biggest present of all by reflecting on where you have been and look to the future to be the leader you want to be. Make your new year strong and prosperous by ensuring that you focus on all areas of the business including your leadership style and the example you are setting with your people.
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