- The team meet.
- You show them how successful the year has been.
- You explain ways that the business needs to improve.
- You tell them targets for the coming year.
How could that possibly be a waste of everyone’s time? … Well, you’ll be surprised.
Is Your End Of Year Meeting A Waste Of Everyone’s Time?
Deciding whether a meeting is a waste of time isn’t based on the structure of your meeting, but rather on the content of your meeting. We know that's true!
You wouldn’t sit down for a meeting with a sales rep who has a new piece of software about managing building supplies. Yes, they could be really welcoming, identify the big problem, show that their software is the solution and offer a really good deal… But if you run a coffee shop – the meeting is a complete waste of your time.
Content is king when it comes to knowing whether a meeting is worth the time.
The above is an extreme example, but how far is it from sitting staff down and vaguely talking about the year's success and how next year needs to be even better.
It might excite you and get your blood pumping, but for Sue in admin, the take home message is that she’s probably keeping her job for another year and she will need to step it up over the next 12 months. Hardly something to jump for joy about…
As business owners, we need to be brilliant at translating our excitement about the previous years performance into something that is tangible for our team to take with them into the new year.
How To Improve: Team Meetings
Your team probably spend most workdays in the office – so set the expectation that this meeting is important by going to a new location.
It could just be the local coffee shop – at the small cost of £3 an employee – the meeting will already start on a positive exciting note, purely because it’s a trip out. We all want to get the team together to help build bonds and relationships across all departments and a relaxed environment will certainly foster this.
How To Improve: Reflecting On The Past Year
Your team have been part and parcel to the success of the business and it’s absolutely necessary that they’re encouraged, that they know that their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and that they’re a valued, integral part of your businesses success.
What were last year’s targets? Did you hit them? If not, dig deep for ways that show you’ve acknowledge that the people sitting in front of you have gone above and beyond their call of duty as a team.
This is your opportunity to smash that misconception that you’re not a far off distant business owner, whose always busy and only bothered about the success of the business.
Show them that you’re a business owner who cares about their employees well being and that in this meeting; they have your undivided attention because they matter.
How To Improve: Explaining Targets For The Coming Year
Transparency about where you’re at as a business is the most important part of your end of year team meeting. Honesty goes a long way in explaining why you’ve set certain goals and targets.
Many small businesses have great years, but are struggling behind the scenes from years past. If this information isn’t disclosed to staff – the motives behind your goals will seem mixed.
Think of it from your employee’s point of view:
They’ve worked hard all year, the past year has been celebrated and there are even higher goals in place for the following year. They aren’t seeing any wage increases and it looks like you’re reaping all of the rewards and saying ‘make me more money!’
Honesty is the best policy and it’s up to you to decide how transparent you want to be. Put it this way – if you’re an army general and you’re stuck in the trenches, then you want those in the trenches with you to be battling it out with their hearts on their sleeves, rather than being blissfully unaware or, even worse, resenting you!
How To Set Better Goals For Your Business
Goals and targets are best set when you have all of the right information in front of you. Take time to plan your meetings, be thorough and don’t just try to wing it.
You only set your team up for disappointment at next years meeting by plucking goals out of the air, but when you have a full understanding of where your business is at financially, you can set realistic targets that with hard work and dedication you can really achieve.
Personally we use Xero, which gives business owners a real-time view of their cash flow. This allows you to get reports that will better inform your business decisions, not just at end of year meetings, but, all year round.
You can monitor and track your progress along the way.
If you’re interested in switching accountants and receiving a service that can help make your business better in 2018 then get in touch with us at the link below.