A new year is a popular time for reflection. Anniversaries also tend to inspire contemplation and change. But when it comes to business, I advocate for reflection on a much more regular basis.
Working on Business days – or WOB days – are critical for learning, which is why I commit to one every month. And I highly recommend you do the same.
In today’s high-tech environment, our time and energy demands are at an all-time high. As the pressure to address competing priorities escalates, there is a tendency to double down. Work harder, work faster, and get it done. You might feel productive, and productivity certainly feels good. But there is faster progress to be made when you make room to understand your results.
Meaningful growth comes from taking time amid the chaos to sort through experiences and use your learnings to inform future actions.
Research backs me up. For example, a 2016 study conducted by the Harvard Business School found those call centre employees who reflected for 15 minutes at the end of each workday performed 23 per cent better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. Meanwhile, from the Journal of Work-Applied Management, author Dr Ruth Heyler points out that it is “impossible for individuals to keep developing themselves without skills of reflection”.
I recommend scheduling WOB days on either the first or last day of each calendar month. And will depend on how quickly you can access KPI reports and other important results. Regardless of whether you are reflecting on pleasing or disappointing outcomes, you want to understand how those outcomes came to be.
Here are some of the questions worth considering:
- What positive KPI results did your region achieve?
- Which results were disappointing, and what indications did you miss?
- How does your staffing look?
- Do you plan to fill any vacancies?
- Does the filling of vacancies require your focus this month?
- Of which stores/results are you most proud?
- What are some key areas you should focus on for the new month/season?
WOB days are dedicated to conscious consideration and analysis of business strategies and performance. Investing your time in doing this will pay huge dividends. Not only will you feel more in control of your business. But you will also have better quality conversations with your teams and spend more time focusing on the things that matter. This will increase your confidence, enhance your business acumen and improve your results.