Assessing Business and Organizational Progress
Every leader should regularly be assessing the business and the organizational progress of their company. The third quarter is a great time to do this. Taking the time to evaluate business procedures, products and services, employee performance, and bottom-line goals will allow you to see what’s working, what isn’t, and why. The valuable information you collect will help you decide what needs to change and how to do it so you can develop true strategies and coordinated actions, allowing you to be ready to establish next year’s goals and reach them.
A proper evaluation needs to be thorough. Its best to use a variety of assessments to collect the information you need. Here’s a few examples of commonly used assessment practices:
- A Fiscal Review. Your financial documents will tell you exactly where the business’s money is going, how it’s being used, and how profitable the organization is.
- One-On-One Interviews. Team members can get an opportunity to open up and provide you with their opinions and feelings on operations, the workplace culture, the products or services they create, and the processes they regularly use.
- Anonymous Surveys. These allow for a true reflection on operational procedures, processes, and your company’s alignment to current trends and innovation. In addition, employees often disclose innovative strategies during this type of anonymous feedback.
- Existing Comments. If you have an open-door policy existing, you likely have a good amount of comments that you’ve received throughout the year which you can tabulate and assess the feasibility for their integration.
- Customer Reviews. Their feedback is valuable when it comes to assessing your products or services and the employees who work directly with customers.
- Industry Research. Take the time to ensure your business operations and goals are still relevant to your industry.
There are plenty of ways to assess a business, both general and unique to certain industries. Ultimately, what matters is that you use methods that work for your organization, and you maintain a pulse on how your operations are meeting the organization’s goals.
It’s also worth considering hiring a third party to conduct an assessment on the organization’s progress, especially if results from an internal assessment were inconclusive. An outside perspective will be able to look at information without predetermined opinions or emotional attachment. Employees are more likely to answer honestly in interviews, exploration sessions, and surveys to someone brought in to do an evaluation, because a third party removes any fear of repercussions if they have something negative to say.
If all your results come back positive, then you’re doing great. You can spend the fourth quarter figuring out how to do more of what’s been proven to produce results. It’s more likely, though, that your results will show that some improvement or changes need to be made, because change is a natural part of business operations as they evolve to meet new and higher business goals.
Don’t be discouraged by negative results. Use the information you collected from the assessment to make changes that will increase productivity, quality, and profitability. The gaps or problems that need to be addressed will be apparent from the evaluation. You may have to update your SOPs, organizational processes, realign employees with roles and responsibilities better suited to their strengths and skills, or adjust to current trends happening within your industry. Remaining fluid and embracing these changes will increase your business’s ability to reach bottom-line goals and improve efficiency.
Whatever it is you need to adjust, you’ll want to be ready to launch these changes before the year is over. Your team will need to learn the operational modifications and adjust accordingly. By having these adjustments made at the end of the fourth quarter, you and your team will be prepared to take action to achieve (or even exceed!) next year’s goals.
Business assessments and operational progress evaluations are necessary for the wellness and success of your business. The information collected from them will help you make necessary operational, procedural, and strategic changes and improve your ability to modify them throughout the year as needed, allowing you to increase productivity, quality, efficiency, and profitability.