Preparing for Q4: How Can You Push Employees to Success Before 2017

September 27th, 2016

Fall has officially arrived and the holiday season will be here before you know it. Now that the fourth quarter of the year is approaching, it’s time to prepare a strategy for the next three months that allows your company to meet its year-end goals.

If you want to make big things happen in the next few months, you’ll need the full support of your team. Follow these tips to keep people motivated through the end of 2016.

4 Ways to Inspire Your Team to Achieve Year-End Goals

Get Everyone on the Same Page

For success to be achieved, everyone must work together, so gather your entire team for a meeting to get everyone up to speed. Remind employees of the company’s 2016 goals, provide a status update, and make it clear what needs to be accomplished by the end of the year to realize success. The sky’s the limit when your entire staff focuses on shared goals.

Let Employees Take the Lead

Knowing your boss trusts you enough to make important decisions is empowering, so inspire your best employees to produce their finest work by putting them in charge. Step back and allow top talent to guide the direction of key make-or-break projects, because people are more invested when they know they’re responsible for producing results. Maintain a hands-off approach — only adding input when necessary — and you won’t be disappointed with the outcome.

Provide the Proper Tools

Your employees are very talented, but they’re not superhuman. If you want them to make big things happen by the end of the year, you need to provide them with the resources needed to support these objectives. This can be anything from upgrading software to hiring additional staff to fill skills gaps, but make sure you’ve done your part to help them succeed. Realize your goals will not be accomplished if you place unrealistic demands on your employees.

Celebrate Small Victories

The road to success can be long and challenging, so keep your team motivated by celebrating every little win along the way. No matter how big or small an accomplishment is, it gets the team one step closer to meeting — or maybe even exceeding — year-end goals. Treating every victory as something major is a great way to boost morale and encourage people to keep working hard.

Need to hire a few new employees to help your team achieve year-end goals?

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How to Cut Down on Back and Forth Email Replies in Your Inbox

September 20th, 2016

Email is an incredible tool that allows you to communicate with anyone who has an email address — nearly 2.6 billion as of 2015, according to The Radicati Group, Inc. — at any time of day, anywhere in the world. Of course, if you’re constantly met with an overflowing inbox, you’re well aware it’s very possible to experience email overload.

When used properly, email can be a quick and efficient way to communicate, but if you spend an inordinate amount of time replying to seemingly never-ending back and forth messages, it’s time to make a change. Emailing shouldn’t take up a large portion of your day, so if it does, use these four tips to get it under control.

Get to the Point

Your messages might be sparring so many back and forth replies because they’re vague and confusing. Instead of assuming the other person understands what you’re trying to say, state your point directly. You still might receive a few questions or comments, but it won’t be an ongoing barrage that takes half your day to respond to.

Don’t Invite Unnecessary Feedback

Sometimes it’s great to ask for the opinions of others, but not always. When sending emails of an informative nature, stop asking recipients if the message makes sense or if they have any questions. Instead, make a few simple changes to the wording, letting people know you’re available if any questions arise, but they don’t need to respond otherwise. This may not seem like a huge difference, but it is, because you’re not actively soliciting feedback.

Have a Face-to-Face Conversation

Messages often get lost in translation when sent through email, so if you have a complex message to deliver, do it in person — when possible. Often times, you’re probably sending emails to people who sit down the hall from you, so get up and walk to their desk for a two-minute conversation, instead of wasting an hour emailing the person throughout the course of the day.

Pick Up the Phone

If the recipient of your somewhat confusing, rather intricate email doesn’t work at your office, simply give them a call to quickly discuss the contents of the message. A conversation will only take a few minutes, allowing both of you to get on the same page quickly, so you don’t have to spend all day typing in circles over email.

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How to Understand Your Failures in a Positive Light so that You Don’t Bring Yourself Down

September 13th, 2016

Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s how you handle these setbacks that counts. Beating yourself up over every little — or not so little — mishap doesn’t help you move forward, it only crushes your self-esteem. Stop trying to achieve the impossible feat of perfection and make failure something positive.

Whether you’re leading a big project that fails or make a few calculation errors on a routine assignment, use these tips to turn your blunder into something good.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Mistakes happen, so learn from them. Instead of trying to pretend the misstep didn’t occur, take a pause and assess the situation. Give yourself credit for what went well and dig deep to determine the exact reason the results you wanted weren’t realized. When you take this approach, failure goes from being wasted time and resources to a valuable experience that helps you learn and grow. You’re bound to feel better about the situation when you gain the knowledge needed to feel confident you won’t make the same mistake twice.

Accept the Blame

When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to point fingers at others, but that won’t get you very far in life or your career. Step up and own your mistakes instead of distancing yourself from the situation and forcing others to take the heat for you. Not only will you gain the respect of your peers, you’ll also feel much better about yourself. If you work at the type of company where failure isn’t tolerated, consider moving on to an organization that embraces failure, understanding that employees are only human.

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

Success is a matter of trial and error, so if you want to get ahead in your career, you have to accept that sometimes you’re going to strike out. Continually putting a huge amount of pressure on yourself to be perfect will eventually lead to burnout, so understand that sometimes you’re going to fail. Being overly cautious might mean you don’t make as many mistakes, but you also don’t have the opportunity to learn from failure, which puts you at a serious disadvantage.

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What Employees Expect from Management in 2016

September 6th, 2016

Only 33.1% of employees are engaged at work, according to Gallup, as of Aug. 8, 2016. In a management position, you have significant control over employee engagement levels, so if morale seems low or your turnover levels are higher than you’d like, it’s time to take action.

Employee expectations for 2016 are very different than they were five, 10 or 20 years ago, so your management style needs to change accordingly. In May 2015, Millennials officially became the largest percentage of the American workforce — according to a Pew Research Center analysis — and these young workers don’t want the same things from their managers as Gen X and baby boomers.

Your team expects you to provide the five things below, and if you don’t, they’ll find another job where they can get what they want.

Professional Development Opportunities

Top talent isn’t content to stay in the same position forever, so they value managers willing to help them grow their skills. From mentoring staffers and helping them map their career to making room in the budget to send them to conferences and training sessions, these people want you to help them evolve.

Constant Feedback

In the past, employees dreaded annual performance reviews, but these meetings are now highly valued. Instead of giving feedback once or twice a year, workers now demand regular sit-downs to discuss areas where they’re excelling and what they could be doing better.

Transparency From the Top

No one likes to be kept in the dark, but employees today are unwilling to sit back and take it. When changes happen at your company, they want to be the first to know — and they expect to hear the news from senior management. Even when updates aren’t good news, they still expect company leaders to be direct and keep them in-the-know.

Greater Work/Life Balance

In the past, employees were willing to work nights, weekends, and essentially be on-call at all times, but not anymore. People are pushing for a stronger work/life balance, so they can truly have it all — a thriving career and a fulfilling personal life. Employees are willing to put in extra time during busy periods, but if you expect them to always put work first, you’ll be met with an influx of resignation letters.

Meaningful Work

For the most part, baby boomers and Gen Xers accepted assignments as they were given, without questioning their managers, but now that millennials have taken over, things are different. These young workers have no tolerance for busy work, so they want to know how their individual contributions support organizational goals. Expect pushback if you assign work that isn’t meaningful, because they’re out to make a difference.

Searching for top accounting and finance talent to join your team?

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