Insights in Human Resources

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By Nancy Hintz, Managing Director, Recruitment, Training and Human Resources Vertical, GBL









Your Most Important Evaluation: YOU

Are you unknowingly hindering your company’s growth with how you spend your time?

Would industry executives agree you are making the best decisions to grow your business? Not only does it matter that you dedicate significant time to the business, but how you allocate that time determines your company’s success.

BioAg start-ups around new technology are evolving into global empires as the industry grows to a projected market of 24 billion by 2027. These incredible business owners would tell you they had to wear many hats beyond the company president to keep the business alive. They spent time in the day-to-day tasks with clients or revising contracts while carving time on higher-level strategic objectives for investing in future growth. They had to strike a balance between working “in” the business and working “on” the company.

Owners perform three key roles within their business. They work in the industry performing technical work. They spend time leading their teams on day-to-day operations. Lastly, they invest time in focusing on strategic growth. Understanding how to balance these three roles is essential for business success.

Here are a few of the top strategies to maintain balance.

According to a survey of successful executives in Forbes Magazine, business owners should spend equal time working, marketing, and managing their businesses. A formula known to work remarkably well is to spend one-third of your time doing the work, one-third of your time on marketing outreach, and one-third of your time leading and managing your team. Be intentional with the formula when scheduling
your calendar to maintain balance in these areas.

Be proactive by scheduling for strategic thinking for your business. Getting caught up on a daily treadmill of tasks like spending long hours hustling in operations or working with clients is easy. Working “in” your business is managing your business as it is for today. Working “on” your business focuses on what your business will be in the future. Set aside three blocks of time per week to think strategically about your business.

Delegating responsibilities will help your business grow by allowing you to focus strategically. Losing the grip of control takes work. It may mean that you accept standards will be compromised, but it is well worth it to free up time. Another benefit of delegating responsibilities is that it promotes the growth of employee skills and preservers employee retention.

Focus and build systems that guarantee success. A great system encapsulates everything about how you do business. How you are different and why clients choose you. It is your organization’s standardized plan that, if followed, could be replicated for equal success. Once businesses have these systems designed and in place, they will run smoother, you can delegate to others more manageable, and you can have time to work on the business instead of in it.

What if you are trying to figure out if you are striking the right balance? There are vital signs to look for if you are out of balance.

Signs of being excessively involved in the day-to-day operations:

Burnout happens when working long hours without breaks in the business. Juggling multiple operational tasks impacts physical and mental well-being. It also results in declining business performance due to poor decision-making and a need for a high- level business view.

Lack of strategic focus when not enough time is dedicated to strategic planning and capitalizing on long-term growth opportunities. The absence of clear strategic direction and initiatives results from being too involved in operations.

Lack of time for reflection or exploring new ideas hinders innovation and the ability to capture emerging trends, pivot to a changing market or pursue innovative solutions to continue to grow the business.

Micromanagement and stifling employee development happen when leadership is too involved in operational tasks. Employees can become disengaged and unmotivated if they are not empowered to take on challenges and develop new jobs.

Lack of Scalability happens when the business becomes overly dependent on the leader for decisions preventing growth and delegation of responsibilities.

Empowering employees, prioritizing strategic initiatives, and delegating operational tasks ensure the entrepreneur’s time and energy focus on driving the long-term success and growth of the business.

When a leader excessively focuses on the business, it can lead to becoming too detached from the day-to-day operations.

Poor Alignment and Communication create employee disconnection and confusion regarding leadership’s vision and strategies.

Lack of Operational Awareness results when leadership loses touch with the business realities and the challenges employees face. Leadership needs to be aware of the daily business of customer experiences and operational efficiencies to understand employees and grow the business well. Lack of awareness can lead to our next sign in making decisions.

Slow Decision Making happens when leadership needs to invest more time in business operations and requires extensive information gathering to make decisions. Often the slow process aggravates existing operational challenges and prevents capitalizing on potential opportunities.

Low Employee Engagement with poor communication and lack of awareness and decision-making leads employees to decrease their engagement as they feel their efforts and contributions should be recognized and valued.

Lack of Strategic Execution happens due to leadership’s poor understanding of operations resulting in a struggle to translate the strategic plan into actionable steps.

Working on your business is investing in tomorrow’s success. For those working in the trenches daily, it may take time for you to ease into it. The goal is to spend most of your time working on the business. Incrementally add sessions for strategic planning to your calendar. As you succeed, your new role will feel more comfortable.

The right balance is different for each business. It is crucial to get the balance right, as so much is riding on your business’s success. We are here to help you evaluate how you spend your time now and help balance your time for optimal success.

Recommended reading

The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

Forbes Magazine, “Business Owners: You Need To Work Less To Make More “ June 30, 2022