This isn’t one of those articles that’s going to tell you all of the business rules you have to follow. We’re here to tell you which rules to break!
Business trends change over time. Advancements in technology, along with the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, has changed business forever, including how, when, and where we work.
As business trends change, entrepreneurs, managers, and employees need to evolve with them.
If you run a business or manage a team, it’s time to take a refresher course in the business rules you should follow and the ones you should ignore.
Here are five rules to do away with right away if you want to create happier employees and grow your company.
1. Sticking to Traditional Hours
The rigid structure of the 9 to 5 workday is a bit outdated. With so many people working remotely, it’s time to give your employees more flexibility.
Some people work best in the morning. Others can’t even function until noon. Assess your team and allow them to work their own preferred schedule.
As long as you can still meet your business goals in a timely manner, when they work shouldn’t matter as much as how they work.
This doesn’t mean that your employees should decide to work whenever they want and take off whenever they want. You should still set some guidelines, such as allowing your team to work from 7 to 3 or from 11 to 7 if that’s what they prefer.
2. Closely Managing Your Employees’ Every Move
As a supervisor, business owner, or team leader, it’s your job to be on top of your employees and know what they’re doing. But that doesn’t mean you need to micromanage their every move.
Hourly check-ins and daily meetings have fallen by the wayside. Instead of being a micromanager, put your focus on being a good leader.
If you make your employees accountable for their own actions, you can actually inspire them to work harder. They’ll also learn to work more effectively.
With a bit of flexibility, you just might be surprised at how many of your employees rise to the challenge and exceed your expectations.
Checking in with your team is still important, as you’ll need status reports and updates on the progress they’re making. But you don’t need to ask for a recap every single day.
Instead, schedule a weekly meeting where you can touch base, get an overview of what’s going on, and make plans for the week ahead.
3. Being Available 24 Hours a Day
Unless you’re an on-call physician, you should never feel as though you need to be available to work at all hours of the night or on the weekend.
Set some boundaries and carve out time for your personal life (and the personal lives of your employees). Don’t respond to calls and emails when you’re taking a day or a night off, and don’t expect your employees to, either.
In most cases, a midnight email doesn’t need an immediate response. Waiting until the following morning is usually more than sufficient.
When you take a vacation day, take the full day off. Don’t check in unless it’s absolutely necessary. Relaxing and enjoying downtime with friends and family refreshes the brain and can make you even more productive when it’s time to return to work.
As with everything else in business, there will be exceptions to this rule. If you have a pressing deadline or are about to close a major deal, make yourself available for phone calls and emails, even after hours.
You don’t want to be the person that shuts down the phone from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. every night of the week. But you also don’t want to be the person who never has a moment of relaxation.
It’s all about finding a balance.
4. Always Be Closing
You don’t need to maintain a salesman’s attitude 24/7.
The concept of “always be closing” has been ingrained in many of us for decades. But this approach actually turns a lot of people off and can drive customers away forever.
Technology has made it so that customers can find you without you having to reach out to them first. So, rather than spending every minute of your workday chasing leads and trying to close deals, dedicate some time to building value in your brand.
The more valuable your brand is to the end consumer, the more leads will flock to you.
5. Focusing on the Competition
No matter what line of work you’re in, you have to know what the competition is doing. But focusing on their every move is not the way to go about it.
There is no need to stalk your competitors on social media or in the press. You do need to stay abreast of what they’re doing, but you can’t devote all of your time to it. The less time you spend monitoring your competitors, the more time you have to put into your own business.
Set up Google alerts for your main competitors or set aside one hour per day to check their social media. This is a great way to stay on top of the competition while still focusing on yourself.
You will see better results if you balance studying the competition with building your own brand.
There are some business rules that you should never abandon, such as being honest and always focusing on the customer.
But you also have to know when it’s time to shift from one mentality to another.
If you want your business to function successfully in the modern era, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Scrap the traditional 9 to 5 hours and allow your employees some flexibility.
- Learn how to lead rather than micromanage.
- Set boundaries and create a work/life balance by knowing when not to respond to calls and emails.
- Ease up on the hard-sell tactic and build brand value to attract customers to you.
- Focus less on the competition and more on how you can grow your own business.
Getting rid of outdated business rules will result in happier employees, and happy employees are always more productive.
About the Author
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Harmony 3900. With five years of property management experience and many more in customer service, she has a passion for her community and looks forward to making Harmony 3900 the place to call home.
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