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When creating year-end reports, it's best to keep a positive outlook and prepare to propose solutions.
I just finished a great business book, "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. It was released a few years back but the principles apply today as they would any other year. It had a very profound affect on me and there were many lessons learned.
I spoke with an employee the other day who typed up a two page document for the CEO outlining everything "that was wrong with the company." No solutions provided, nothing that was going well, just everything that was wrong.
On the flipside, I provided a report titled "Accomplishments and Implementations," outlining cost-savings, goals met, and processes honed, as suggested in the "Good to Great" book.
Which one do you think the CEO will read and appreciate? Perhaps he will share some of those accomplishments with the owners of the company showing the decision-making process going on in our billing department. Perhaps he will look at the department and provide some amazing feedback on how it can continue to improve, setting it up for even more success.
The lesson here is defining what type of company you want to run, and how you want your employees to act, feel, and become. I am living proof that a person's attitude can change when you are passionate about what you do. One of the best lines in the "Good to Great" book was when the author spoke about "how much you like the work you do." When you feel this way about your job, it doesn't feel like work, but more like, "I can't believe they pay me to do this," type of attitude. When you can share this passion and commitment with your staff, your attitude is contagious, and they will follow suit.
As you generate your year-end reports this year, and reflect on goals met, decide how you want to present that information and to whom. I am not implying that you cannot present the absolute facts, even if they are not as stellar as you'd like them to be. But as you review your information and get ready to present, be sure you have solutions ready to go for any areas that need improving. This is you being part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.
I know that there is a lot of pressure to improve performance, and people see one big problem, rather than breaking those issues down into smaller sections to resolve. By resolving one small issue, it creates a ripple effect in your business and makes those other small issues easier to resolve.
Try reading the book, keep an open mind, and see what you can learn from it. Then go implement those actions!