For many business leaders, the past two years presented unprecedented challenges that put their management skills to the test. From shifting to remote working, to digitisation and automation, one thing we know for sure is that our pre-Covid business routine has completely altered.
In fact, it is the first time that businesses around the world are evolving at a rapid speed while tackling the changing business environment at the same time. As we navigate these changes, focusing on your vision, supporting your team and continuously assessing your financials is crucial. These elements will help you stay focused and achieve your goals in the year ahead.
Focus on your vision for the year
During school days, my elementary-grade teacher asked us to imagine our future using crayons and a sheet of paper and gave us a week to focus on the exercise. My classmates and I thoroughly enjoyed it and we would spend time thinking of every single detail.
But as grown-ups, not many of us spend as much time thinking of the finer details of our business’s vision. If I learnt one thing about leading a business through the pandemic, it’s that we need to have a complete vision for our business – of what we need to achieve – and tie our daily goals and actions back to that vision.
So spend as much time as possible outlining and imagining every detail of achieving and realising your goals. It will help you to evaluate your current situation and making decisions that would align with your vision, thus helping you achieve your goals faster.
Your team is your most valuable asset
During the past two years, countries around the world, including the US, experienced mass resignations. Employees quit their jobs to pursue entrepreneurship or opted to work for companies that cared about their mental well-being and those that provided them with more flexible working options.
Employees’ turnover during critical times does not only disrupt workflow, it also negatively affects a company’s performance, especially for start-ups, that usually have small teams.
The pandemic and mass employee turnover have prompted many companies to re-evaluate their culture. It also proved that small acts, such as employee recognition and providing your team with mental well-being, can go a long way.
Let’s step back and think of the following: do we provide a healthy company culture? And how can we create a company culture that inspires employees to thrive and help us retain our talent.
Keep your business and financial plans in check
Many of us have shifted strategies many times during the pandemic to keep our businesses afloat. Be flexible and agile, don’t wait long to decide. Focus on how you can incorporate in your business the elements that resulted in your success.
By continuously reviewing your business performance, it will be easier for you to avoid losses in the long run.
Leadership is all about the human touch
While the pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote working and digitisation, it proved that no matter how much we depend on technology, leadership and business is all about the human touch and that technology advancements don’t make us better leaders.
Now more than ever, traits such as empathy, critical thinking and ethics are key to supporting our teams and lead our businesses.
While we can’t always prepare for unexpected challenges, it’s always best to prepare for as many scenarios as possible that could arise in times of uncertainty.
So I urge you all to go back to your drawing boards and focus on your vision for 2022 while listing your new year resolutions.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai