It’s a tough business climate out there. Interest rates are up, and gross domestic product is down. The labor market is no longer red hot, but tempers in Congress sure are.
The fact is that we’re only through the first half of the calendar year. While some companies may want to see 2023 in the rearview mirror, others are working diligently to earn some wins. Indeed, there is still plenty of time to increase profits and achieve objectives.
With some determination, you can improve your company’s performance before the sun sets on a turbulent 2023. It isn’t going to be easy. But here are three ways you can make it happen if you work every angle.
1. Get an Alignment
When was the last time you dusted off that strategic plan and read it? Are you measuring what you’re supposed to be measuring? Are you meeting goals and objectives or falling short?
To improve your company performance before the year runs out, you probably need a strategy alignment. Given the volatility of the economy and the changing priorities of your workforce, it’s likely some things are out of whack.
A company in good alignment works like a car with freshly rotated tires. There’s no pulling in the opposite direction of where you want the company to go. You get more miles to the gallon and don’t spend all your time trying to keep the steering wheel steady.
Strategic alignment can work from the bottom up or the top down. In either case, there is clear communication about objectives and each person’s role in achieving them. Everyone works toward the same goals, increasing productivity and overall success.
A strategic plan without strategic alignment isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Luckily, you still have time to get your team heading together in the right direction.
2. Engage Your Talent
When was the last time you asked your employees how they are doing? If it’s been a while — or never — you are likely making critical decisions based on uninformed assumptions. You can’t count on your rank and file being engaged in their work if you make no effort to foster that engagement.
Every great business leader understands the importance of employees who are fully invested. There is a strong correlation between engagement levels and productivity, not to mention job satisfaction. Retaining productive talent is fundamental to company performance.
The good news is that it’s never too late to survey your employees to gather quantitative and qualitative input on engagement and job satisfaction. Use survey tools that protect anonymity to garner completely candid responses. Then provide opportunities for discussions and brainstorming sessions that delve into issues of major concern.
This type of feedback will benefit your company’s strategic alignment efforts. It will also help you explore ways you can engage employees more meaningfully than just offering raises or performance bonuses. If they believe they have a stake in the action, they will work harder and smarter.
Employees should be heard, not just seen. They are the essence of your company’s performance. Make sure you show them you recognize that.
3. Win Customer Hearts and Minds
When was the last time you found out what issues are on most of your customers’ minds? If you haven’t taken steps lately to catch up with them, there’s no time like the present. Your marketing efforts need to keep pace with what’s going on in their lives.
You know that to attract and retain customers, your company needs to provide solutions to their problems. So you identify their problems, then tell them how your products or services can solve them. This is Sales and Marketing 101.
But if this is all you’re doing, it isn’t enough. You need to win their hearts and minds by knowing what’s going on in their lives. Then you can figure out how your company can relate to those issues in an empathetic way.
Your content marketing strategy is the ideal tool for letting customers know they mean more to you than a sale. Create content that answers customers’ questions and helps them use your products to best advantage. If you can do that in an entertaining way, so much the better. Use social media to listen to customers and engage them in meaningful conversation. Make it a space where you can learn more about them and they can learn more about your company.
Loyal customers widen profit margins and improve overall performance. Leverage the agility of content marketing to let them know that you understand what’s important to them — and that your company values that, too.
Get Everyone Into the Mix
For your company to perform at a higher level before 2023 runs out, you’re going to have to get everyone into the mix. Company leaders, employees, and customers are all necessary components in the success of your business this year and beyond.
Waiting for a new year to roll around, and crossing your fingers that it’ll be better than the present, is an opportunity lost. Nothing has been easy for the past few years. If you have risen to the challenge despite a global pandemic and economic headwinds, don’t give up now. Your company’s best-performing year could be within your reach.