Getting Your Operations House in Order for the New Year




  • — February 2, 2017

    With the start of the new year behind us, now is a great time to get your house in order from an operations viewpoint. You still need to do all the usual tasks (close the books, update payroll and 401K information, etc.), but should also have on your to-do list tasks like re-visit your employee handbook and take another look at your internal processes.


    Many times we forget that the new year is a good marker to go back and re-visit our existing policies and procedures. What worked and what didn’t? What could work better?


    For instance, at gothamCulture we try to use our budgeting process as a means to re-examine how we do business and how our use of resources supports our overall strategy. We re-visit our employee handbook and procedure manual to make sure we are doing things the way they are outlined, helping to avoid the ‘because we’ve always done it that way’ excuse that leads to process for process’ sake.


    In addition to constant touchpoints with our team, we also try to get the big ideas on the table from the field staff and make sure the operational team is seeing things from their perspective. This helps keep the entire team aligned and ensures our field team is getting the support they need to focus on their work.


    A good tool some organizations use is a ‘sandbox’ concept, where they actively try out new processes before setting them in stone. Again, your operational team may think it’s the best idea in the world until it gets out to the field team and falls flat, or worse; distracts the team from what’s important.


    Regardless of the tools that you choose, use this opportunity to:


    Confirm that your marketing materials are all updated (don’t forget your website and online presence).


    Update all the dates in your manuals, policies and other employee-facing materials.


    Re-align where you are going to devote your resources in the coming year. Stress-test past practices to make sure that they are the best practices for your team.


    Re-think (or confirm) your internal processes and policies are effective (great communication touchpoint with your team and shows that they have a say in how your organization functions)


    We invite you to use the new year as an opportunity to review how you work, what tools you need and what new things you might try. Take the time to keep your policies fresh, relevant and support the operational and strategic goals of the organization.

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    Author: Mark Emerson


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