The start of a new year provides an opportunity to both look back as well as reset and the start of a new financial year is no exception. Many businesses start planning for a new financial year 3 to 4 months beforehand, review their financial performance and set financial targets for the next year.
A google search on “steps for a successful financial year” will provide numerous suggestions including “5 Steps to Financial Success”:

  1. Defining and agreeing your financial objectives and goals;
  2. Gathering your financial and business information;
  3. Analysing your financial and business information;
  4. Development and presentation of the financial plan;
  5. Implementation and review of the financial plan;

All very practical steps which provide focus, clarity and steer a business toward set financial goals.
What’s missing in these “5 Steps to Success”, is the people factor. Without the right people in the right place at the right time, meeting financial goals would not be possible. The same due diligence is required around your team.

Start with the Why! Share the business goals with your team and align their outcomes to the broader business strategy. Understanding how the individual contributes to the success of the business provides clarity and focus. More importantly it provides purpose and drives engagement.

Investing the time in connecting your team to the “Why” is engagement at its best as it drives discretionary effort. Discretionary effort is the level of effort people could give if they wanted to – above and beyond the minimum required.

Every business should have discretionary effort as their key employee engagement measure as winning the hearts and minds of your team is what will take your business from good to great. Discretionary effort is hard earned, and it should be. It’s more than being paid a market salary and working in a safe work environment, as these things are what being a good employer is all about. On the other hand, earning discretionary effort does not have to be cost prohibitive and it makes good business sense.

 Is their technology up to date, do they have a reliable computer, phone, systems and processes? Ensure that you look at individual development requirements and provide internal or external development opportunities that will enable your team to skill up or extend their experiences to add further value to your business.

Provide recognition when earned. Don’t be afraid to say, “that was a job well done” or “you handled that issue well.” Don’t underestimate the impact of a thank you or recognition for demonstrating the values of your company. Recognising the small things is just as important as the big-ticket items such as length of service or the successful completion of key projects.

This year use the start of a new financial year to complete a people audit for financial success:

  1. Define your business objectives and goals;
  2. Share your business objectives with your team – tell them the story;
  3. Link business objectives to individual outcomes;
  4. Set realistic goals and provide the tools to enable best performance;
  5. Provide development opportunities and encourage a learning culture;
  6. Reward and recognise both good behaviour and achievement of results.

Wishing you a successful year.