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Posted on Sep 13th 2018
5 Signs Your Business Rhythm May Be Hurting Your Employees
It's likely that your small business operates on a defined business rhythm:
Weekly one-on-ones, weekly team meetings, monthly department meetings, quarterly company meetings, and annual company meetings are fairly common.
Some organizations fall into these over time, making improvements and changes along the way.
Others start out with a clearly defined roadmap and launch the entire rhythm at once.
Whatever the approach, most don't make their business rhythm an area of regular evaluation.
As with employees, teams, executives, vendors, departments, processes, procedures, and constraints, a company's business rhythm left unevaluated can contribute to major breakdowns over time.
A common (although sometimes difficult to diagnose) symptom of a poorly-functioning business rhythm is declining employee morale.
Whether you've adopted a well-known and commonly used rhythm or developed one of your own, here are a few signs to look for that can indicate that adjustments are necessary:
- Goal planning sessions are happening at the start of a new business cycle, rather than ahead of it. If you're always unprepared without the data you need or are constantly finding your teams on different paces, the inability to get people ready for goal-setting at the same time may be indicative of poor timing in your business rhythm.
- Goal planning sessions focus on company-only directives, and don't contain personal goals set by the individuals on your teams. Effective business rhythms allow time and resources for your managers and employees to focus on personal improvement projects, as well as their role in larger initiatives.
- Employees complain about a lack of time to accomplish goals or complete projects. This isn't always a sign of poor performing employees or the wrong benchmarks. It can be a sign that business objectives and the rhythm's designated timeframe for completing them aren't in alignment.
- Employees have nothing to do. Again, this isn't always a sign of laziness or a lack of commitment. Goals broken down and set against the business rhythm are great to hit ahead of schedule. But without clarity on what comes next, your employees may find themselves unsure of how to keep the ball rolling in the direction that makes the most sense.
- Employees can't articulate the company's long-term vision. Your business rhythm and the interactions it dictates provide opportunities to reiterate long-term vision, realign teams and people, and communicate consistently. If communication intervals are too far spread, and smaller goals aren't visible stepping stones toward bigger ones, it's probably time to do some refining.
No one business rhythm is right for every business. And rarely is only one business rhythm right for any business at any given time.
Allow your business rhythm the flexibility to grow and develop with your organization.