How to Prepare Your Team for 2016

By Sean Gordon, - In Leadership

Picture of a woman who is in the process of Prepare Your Team for 2016

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With the end of 2015 nearing, entrepreneurs, CEOs and sales leaders need to prepare now in order to make sure their teams start 2016 off on the right foot. So if you haven’t thought about it yet, it’s now time to Prepare Your Team for 2016. But to determine what changes need to be made in 2016, leaders need to analyze the past year, specifically by looking at four factors – people, culture, processes, and systems.

Individually, each of these four factors can have a huge impact on overall success, whether that means meeting yearly sales goals or boosting company morale. By better understanding the successes and failures within each factor, leaders can make the necessary improvements and adjustments for 2016. Here’s how to analyze the four key factors from 2015 in order to prepare for next year.

Prepare Your Team for 2016

1. People

A high turnover rate can have big implications for a company’s bottom line, especially since training new employees takes a significant amount of time. Therefore, keeping your existing employees happy is vital to success, no matter how success defined at your organization.

Have a conversation with those currently at the company — what changes would they like to see implemented? How do they feel about the current corporate culture? Where improvements could be made? This gives leaders otherwise unknown insights into what their employees are either happy or frustrated with

2. Culture

Most organizations spend a long time developing and defining corporate culture, which is then dispersed throughout the various levels of the organization. But knowing whether or not the corporate culture is aligned with how the organization defines it is often a whole other story. While it may be a cheesy saying, it’s true that attitudes are contagious.

A ‘winning culture’ can encourage teams to work harder and even smarter, but few leaders know what the corporate culture looks like on a day-to-day basis. Observing team meetings can quickly give leaders a look into the current state of corporate culture. Do employees encourage their teams to share ideas? Is there a high level of respect among teammates? Both of these questions can be answered by simply observing the conversations that take place during everyday meetings.

3. Process

Looking at the way teams function can allow leaders to better understand how they can help. Perhaps one team has a really smooth process that, if implemented across teams, could be wildly beneficial. Leaders, particularly ones who manage multiple teams, are often removed from the daily activities and may not have the best understanding of efficient, or inefficient, processes that are currently in place.

Better understand the steps in daily processes by having each individual employee explain it on their own and then as a team. This way, leaders may be able to see where the breakdown is and if tasks can be consolidated in a different way. While teams may have some similarities across an organization, there are inherent differences due to varying personality types, workload and structure, meaning these personalized conversations can have tremendous value

4. Systems

While it may seem obvious, asking employees whether or not they have all the necessary tools to succeed is key. For example, do employees have the most up to date equipment that’s compliant with the industry standard? This doesn’t always require a big capital expenditure and sometimes may just involve making a few small updates. It’s extremely valuable to look at technologies available that can help employees work better and faster. Implementing tools that can streamline processes, even just administrative tasks, can have a positive impact on employees’ productivity and a company’s bottom line.

In combination, these factors can determine whether or not the next year will be a successful one. By starting to assess each one now, leaders will have more than enough time to make the necessary changes once the New Year is here.



CEO of Intelliverse