HURDLE NUMBER FIVE: PRIORITISING
I think it’s fair to say we’ve all been in that situation where we’re required to be in several places at once, complete a daunting amount of tasks all by the end of the day, and somehow perform a number of different roles at once; the mentor, the teacher, that parent, the friend, the colleague, the boss. What dictates one’s ability to fulfil all of these disconcerting tasks is the ability to prioritise. Prioritising is paramount if you are serious about getting the most out of your business. As a manager you probably set yourself business goals. Two characteristics these goals should have are not spoken about enough. Business goals must be realistic, and they must be time-bound.
Realistic is defined as having an awareness and acceptance of reality. Time bound is defined as an activity or event that is supposed to happen within a given period of time, with some sense of urgency.
There will always be outside factors that will affect your business goals that commonly cannot be helped. Often people let these factors get the best of them and they end up straying form the task at hand. Meticulous planning and goal setting is essential in the hospitality industry. A lot of people fear delegating tasks, and certain jobs usually get pushed back dependent on what’s most important for the business that week. How do you get a new menu ready to go public when you have a number of new employees that haven’t been through their induction and training yet? Where do you find the time to sit down and work on your financials when you’re so understaffed that you have to work one of the junior roles that evening?
This is where those characteristics come into play. Be realistic, and make sure your goals and objectives are time bound. We often set ourselves unrealistic to-do lists. But the business carries on – and the customers don’t wait. Hospitality managers have a number of problems and obstacles thrown at them daily. It’s how these things are prioritized and dealt with, that will define whether your long term goals are met.
Solution: Never assume “Oh, it’ll be fine. I’ll manage.” That is when your business will start to suffer. Systematic thinking plays a major part in making sure the job gets done. Never compromise the integrity of your business by not making proper plans. Delegate tasks you know you can’t get done on time and invest time into training your staff on how to complete these tasks to your liking – so when the time comes, they can help you out.
Try to get out of that mind set of, “I’m the only one who knows how – and if it’s not me who does it, something might go wrong.” Choosing to not spend time training your employees, whilst you continue to chip away at that little growing mountain of work on your desk, doesn’t sound particularly inviting does it? The long term benefits of investing time into training means that in the future, it’s much easier for you to step back and do what is most necessary for you in your management role. Remember: be realistic and make sure your goals and objectives are time bound.
So there you have it! Early next week you’ll be able to read the sixth and final entry of this blog where we will discuss Hurdle Number Six – Communication.
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