Have You Ever Second Guessed a Business Decision and Asked…

...“Did I Make the Right Decision?” If this sounds familiar, then maybe the following tips will prevent you from saying just that.

We’ve all been through this, daily routines and challenges that never seem to get any easier, no matter how many times we experience and address them.  What do I mean by this?  For example, an employee is consistently showing up late, your work day never seems to end at 5PM, or something as simple as that last employee that never re-filled the last pot of coffee.  I especially was so annoyed by that last one that I had to buy one of those fancy Keurig coffee machines and problem fixed!  How are you going to change your approach so that these things do not have to keep happening?

With all of the craziness in your life, here’s some tips on how you can better manage your decision making:

  • Ask yourself what is the root cause of the problem.  It’s so easy to address an issue with a quick fix, but how long will that last?  Especially if something else is consistently causing the problem.  For example, your employee is late.  Well, it’s easy enough to address this with a warning, or some type of penalty, but will this just be a short term fix?  What if the cause of the problem is something to do with childcare scheduling or an illness?  Talk to your employee and try to advise them that there can be a long term solution.  It may be as simple as a 10 minute change in their schedule that makes all the difference.  This sure beats the stress of worrying if they are going to show up late all of the time and you’ve proven to make a better decision for both parties involved.
  • Another simple solution is to gather input from others before making a decision.  Let’s talk about an employee perk for this one.  Let’s say your company distributes bottled water as a way to thank your employees.  Well, we all know this would be an expensive perk to maintain, even for a small business, so you, as the boss, decide to discontinue the service, without mention to your employees.  As you can about guess, the morale of the employees begins to immediately change and eventually you hear snickering and gossip as to how poorly they are being treated.  There are solutions!  This may have been avoided by addressing the issue with a company-wide meeting.  In the meeting you could address the issue and identify alternatives such as the costs of substituting the bottled service with a community water cooler, or even starting a fund to support the continuation of the bottled water service.  By finding out how much the employees appreciated the service, this may have all been prevented.
  • When making important decisions, it’s imperative that you keep long-term goals in mind.  If you do something on the fly, it may be the best decision for that moment, but how will it affect your business down the road?  If you find yourself not knowing what your long-term goals are, then it’s time to sit down and commit to determining where you want to see your business in five or ten years from now.
  • Lastly, one of the most important decision making factors is take your time.  It’s not always best to make split second decisions.  If you develop a plan or strategy, take a night to think about it before presenting it to your staff.  Is there a memo that you think needs to go out right this second?  Well, unless it’s a building or staff emergency, take an hour to see if it’s exactly what you wanted to say or if you could re-word anything.  Presentation is so very important and could make all of the difference.

With all of the tips above, hopefully you can find some peace of mind when making your next sound decision.  Find the root cause of the problem, gather input from employees, keep long term goals in mind, and most importantly, take your time!

Sometimes the quick decisions are not always the best decisions.  By following the advice that I’ve noted, maybe next time instead of saying, “why did I do that,” you’ll be saying “thank goodness, I couldn’t be happier that I made the right decision.”

What are some steps you take to make sure you’re making good, sound, long-lasting decisions?