Strategy | Why New Year is the perfect time to take stock

Why New Year is the perfect time to take stock

The end of one year and the start of another – the gateway to a new decade – is the perfect time to take stock on a personal level and in respect of business.

We return to the workplace after the long festive break with enough ‘distance’ between what were doing before the holiday and picking up the threads, to take a breath and see things with greater clarity.

Those of us who wish to set new personal goals, will review what we have undertaken and achieved in the past year, set ourselves new targets and identify ways of achieving them. This may include further professional development, the acquisition of new skills, improved methods of working, or improving processes.

Stepping into the new year can be a cathartic experience on a personal level when our ‘resolutions’ may centre around health, happiness and wellbeing and ways to strike a better work/life balance.
As leaders and managers within business, the new year may also be a key time for strategic planning. For some of us, a new financial year beckons, new objectives, new budgets – new destinations on which we must decide on how to travel. But how can we decide on the best approach without first looking back at the routes we have already taken?

The importance of review and evaluation cannot be understated. It may seem like an arduous task - and let’s face it, it can be – but without looking back and learning from what we have done, we cannot assess its effectiveness and whether to repeat the pattern or try something new.

For HR managers, this is particularly pertinent. The way that we manage resources is crucial to our goals and human resources is the most vital ingredient – the source of production, skill and knowledge – in devising the perfect ‘recipe’. An organisation’s greatest expense but most valuable asset needs to be applied effectively, shaped and nurtured to achieve the best outcomes for all concerned.

Many things may fall out of review: a pattern of costs and productivity that may have gone unseen, a correlation around cause and effect, ‘gaps’ around attendance and sickness, the impact of seasonality and demand. We are so busy managing the day-to-day that stepping back and seeing ‘the bigger picture’ can sometimes reveal significant issues that need to be addressed with some radical solutions.

These could include change management, the development of fundamental frameworks such as creating a value consensus within the organisation, rewards and recognition, people development, employee engagement, rostering and shift management or recruitment.

But whatever your solution, at some point in the future, you will need to check that the approach has worked and put markers in place at the start of the process to identify what success looks like.
Workforce analytics allows you to relate this back to the bigger picture with real-time views around workforce application. Leveraging a wealth of data locked away in its database, the Crown Workforce Analytics application, transforms data into business facts that are easy to comprehend and query with a fluidity to change the parameters of search and reporting requirements to meet your needs.

Generated from data input into Crown’s HR, time and attendance, and rostering solutions, Workforce Analytics can provide analysis of absence, activities, overtime and shift-based data against targets and budget so progress can be measured against business objectives.

It takes the pain out of gathering information and having to crunch the numbers after the fact and eliminates the need to ‘paper sift’ old records in order to garner the facts.

But whichever way you choose to do it, one thing is certain: you need to look back before you can move forward with any degree of certainty for success. The new year brings with it a great positivity – a new start and new challenges. May 2020 be a happy and successful one for us all.

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The UK's leading supplier of Workforce Management solutions to medium-to-large organisations in both private and public sectors. We offer HR, Time and Attendance, Scheduling/Rostering and Workforce Analytics software, working with clients to identify areas for improvement including improved service levels, reduced labour costs and success in the market place.