Setting goals is a new year tradition, but it’s usually centered around personal goals like losing weight or reading more. The same goal-setting strategy can be used for businesses looking to improve and grow in the new year. If you’re looking for ideas to include in your 2022 business goals, we have created a list to get you started.
1.Include mental health in safety training protocols
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates of all industries, which is 3 times higher than the average rate in the US. Mental health issues are also statistically higher within the industry. While general safety is vital for the industry, it is important to start adding mental health to the conversation as well. You can utilize resources by the Center for Construction Research and Training regarding mental health and suicide prevention, including an online crisis chat.
Visit Construction Suicide Prevention’s website for additional resources.
2.Incorporate more technology
The construction industry has been slower to adopt technology when compared to other industries. The pandemic has pushed the fast-forward button on integrating technological solutions, including within construction. While necessity may have been the driving force behind companies’ willingness to lean on technology during the pandemic, it is a great goal to continue using tech to grow in the new year. Construction organizations can use technology to streamline all business processes, bid better, cut costs, track and manage equipment and improve safety.
3.Investigate green building practices
Green building practices focus on a large range of environmentally minded methods, techniques and materials. This can be anything from reducing waste and emissions as a company, to using eco-friendly building materials, improved water and energy efficiency and sustainable practices. Incorporating green building practices isn’t a one-size fits all situation, so your opportunities may vary based on your line of business.
Learn more about green building practices at the U.S. Green Building Council’s website.
4.Prioritize workforce development
Finding and retaining skilled workers is not a new problem in the construction industry, but things seem to be getting more challenging. According to a new report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 92% of contractors surveyed reported difficulty in finding skilled workers. 55% of these report high levels of difficulty, highlighting the increasing challenge. This makes recruiting and retaining your workforce a priority. One way you can do this is to make sure you’re offering development opportunities. This can be
Workforce development ideas:
- Leadership training
- Career development courses
- Infection control and safety for construction
- Estimating and bidding reading training
- Plan reading
- Foreman training
You can find opportunities locally as well as online, such as through Construction Education Center.
5. Streamline your processes
It’s easy to have the “if it’s not broke” mindset when it comes to business processes. After all, isn’t it good enough to just be able to get things done? The problem with this mindset is that it precludes you from seeing the problems your team may actually be experiencing, including the extra time, mistakes, and manual work it may take to finish simple tasks. It also limits your ability to streamline processes and become more efficient and competitive. This year, take a close look at all your processes, ask everyone for feedback on pain points and look for ways to solve them. Software is often your friend in solving inefficient process, but it can be hard to make an organizational shift. Read these tips on how to create and roll out a plan for implementing new software in your organization.
6.Improve your communications
Emails, texts and social posts have become standard ways to communicate, but these are one-sided, informal formats. So while there are many platforms to communicate on, they aren’t necessarily helpful in encouraging thoughtful conversations. Additionally, many companies struggle with communication as an organization, having no standard in place for what information gets shared, how it gets shared and how to accept and incorporate feedback. Fortunately, communication is a skill that can be improved with practice. There are many helpful communication books, blogs and courses that can help.
Additionally, you’ll want to create a communication plan for your organization outlines what type of information is shared, how it is shared and who is responsible for sharing it.
Tips on how to keep your new year’s resolutions
Goals are great, but they don’t just happen. You have to create a plan and work toward them diligently if you really want to see change. So this year instead of simply make a long list of goals you hope to achieve, create your list and an action plan for each item. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it will force you to think through the steps you need to take in order to make the new year your best year on record.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Write down goals but also share them with your team. This increases accountability and can get everyone involved in the process. You can find free goal chart templates here, but a whiteboard or notebooks works as well.
- Break each of your goals into small steps and track your progress toward each one. This makes larger goals feel more in reach and can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
- Ask for help when you need it. Business is a team sport, so lean on your team to solve problems and achieve your goals for the year.
- Consistency is key, just be mindful that perfection isn’t possible. Just keep your eye on the end goal and accept that the path there can be rocky.
- Check in with yourself frequently to make sure you’re still focused on the end goal. This lets you correct your course before you’ve gotten too far off center.
- Start listening to podcasts related to your goal for ideas and inspiration. This is a passive way to keep your focus, and might just help you reach your goals quicker if you pick up tips and tricks.
- Start reading books by leaders in your field, or those aligned with the goals you’re working toward.
Business and education resources
Small Business Association (SBA) resources for business
US.Gov business resources listed by state
SCORE resources for startups and free mentorship
Free business budgeting templates
Idea and note taking: Evernote, OneNote, Simplenote
Education: Coursera, FutureLearn, edX.
Additionally, community colleges, chamber of commerce and city’s website may have additional resources for you to take advantage of locally.
The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.