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As we enter a new year, also enters an opportunity for organizations to become better and do better. Below are 5 resolutions that every organization seeking true growth or success should endeavor.

Make employees your #1 Client. If more organization’s adopted an “employee centric” approach they would find themselves closer to achieving their business goals and obtaining a competitive advantage. So what exactly is an employee centric approach – it is ensuring that your employees are at the center of your business’ philosophy, operations and strategic goals. Regardless of your industry, your employees will either be the direct face to your clients or directly impact the customer product. How you treat your employees will be reflected in their work, and in their interactions with your clients. As a result, being employee centric is also akin to being customer centric. An engaged employee will provide the best service and best productivity driving the best results for the organization.

Start with Leadership. Leadership has nothing to do with titles, positions or number of direct reports. Just the same, those in leadership positions may not necessarily be leaders. There are many philosophical definitions of leadership but simply put, a leader is someone worth following.  A leader is able to address both the operational needs and human capital needs of the organization and understands that neither are mutually exclusive, but in fact mutually significant. Because having a leader is integral to the long-term success of any organization, you should evaluate whether those that are in leadership positions within your organization are really leaders and not just managers of people or tasks.

Comply, comply, comply.  Failing to satisfactorily meet the various local, state and federal regulatory requirements that govern the employer-employee relationship can be very costly to an organization from many perspectives. Failures in compliance will lead to significant monetary penalties, third party intervention (government agencies, unions, etc.,), plaintiff’s lawsuits and even reputational damage. As such, compliance needs to be at the forefront of an organization’s priorities and integrated into the overall business strategy. Now is the time to engage in an internal audit of your policies and practices to ensure your employment practices are in adherence with applicable laws and that you have safeguards in place to identify any risk areas.

Diversity Matters.  Diversity seems to be the new buzz word in corporate America but most diversity programs or efforts are missing the mark. Diversity occurs when there is a workforce made up of a variety of backgrounds, race, gender and age at all levels within your organization. However, most efforts, if at all, focus on diversity at the front line employee level. As I write this, American Express CEO is less than one month away from retirement and he is one of only 4 Black CEOs that lead Fortune 500 Companies.  That accounts for less than 1% of Fortune 500 Companies.  If there were more diversity at the executive leadership level diversity throughout all levels of the organization would organically occur. An organization can only benefit from the different viewpoints, ideas and insights that comes with a diverse workforce. As a matter of fact, a recent Gallup study, found that hiring a demographically diverse workforce can improve a company’s financial performance. All things considered, organizations should examine diversity within their organization and make holistic diversity efforts a business priority.

Invest in Training & Development.  Providing training and development at all levels provides a dual benefit to your organization and your employees. Doing so will not only lead to improved productivity and increased skills for your workforce but will also lead to employee morale and loyalty to the organization. Investing in the success of your employees should be an ongoing effort. Your employees will feel as though you value them enough to invest in them while you reap the benefits of a more talented, educated and skilled workforce that steadily contributes to your business performance and profit. Win, win.

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