Why It’s Critical to Look Back on 2017 to Prepare Your Team for 2018

Have you ever had a manager who said it’s never good to look back, and you should always be looking forward?

Okay, sometimes you know what people mean when they say this, but in reality, they’re leaving quite a bit out. Most experienced leaders understand that there are times when you should look back over the past, to chart a course for your business in the years to come. Here are some reasons why it’s a good idea to take some time toward the end of the year and just assess what people have done, the business’s achievements, and the results over a year’s time frame. Take these tips from one of the best staffing agencies in Lacey, Washington, and benefit your business.

Looking at the Numbers

One of the most practical reasons to review the past quarter or the past year is to get a grasp on sales numbers.

So many product and service businesses live and die by their numbers — it’s all about getting units out the door or selling services to customers. This is kind of a simplified way to look at a business, but it is central to business success, as any economist will tell you.

Looking back over the past year’s numbers, you can spot seasonal trends. You can see whether a new program or initiate worked. You can assess what happened when you invested in some piece of equipment or a new team. You can also try to project whether any of those changes are going to affect 2018 or not. All of this is a reasonable part of preparing your business for success in the new year.

Close the Door on Conflicts and Obstacles

As a manager or supervisor, you can also use the end of the year to really tackle the hard job of identifying what’s holding the business back and eliminating it, for a brighter future.

Maybe there is a simmering conflict that has been holding back productivity, creating a ripple effect in your department, and taking up too much space in people’s workdays. When you identify that conflict, you can work to resolve it. When it’s resolved — it’s no longer holding you back. This all seems kind of clich√©, and it’s definitely easier said than done, but sometimes when you look back, that’s the time when you can really think clearly and take on these problems. Maybe it’s not a conflict — maybe it’s an obstacle to higher sales volumes. You look back — you identify it, and you move onward and upward.

Recognize Efforts

The end of the year is also a great time to recognize the stellar efforts that your employees make for your business.

Now, you can go years and years without recognizing these efforts all — but again, that seems shortsighted. It’s the kind of thinking that keeps businesses from attaining the next level. Instead, be deliberate about rewarding excellence and at the end of the year, take time to really appreciate anything that people have done to move the ball forward. What you’re doing is investing in your corporate culture — letting people know they’re valued can decrease turnover, increase discretionary productivity and, in the end, increase your profits.

Think about all of these things at the end of this year, to make your business a better catalyst in its markets.