By James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner
It is widely recognised and reported that business confidence declined during 2022, with the start of 2023 perhaps seeing little in the way of renewed confidence. The continued conflict in Ukraine, the continued aftershock of Brexit and the rising costs of living impact in one way or another on business optimism.
Perhaps then business leaders, more than ever, need to focus on the importance of optimism as a state of mind, and the impact it has on the realisation of strategy, performance and success. Whilst not the most typical starting point for strategic planning or a key management approach, thought ought to be given to the impact of understanding what a sense of optimism has on your business and not least your workforce and should not be underestimated.
In essence optimism is an inclination to hopefulness and confidence, and the future success of something or something being better.
All this probably sounds rather intangible, something difficult to really grasp or manage. Where would one start in terms of being and creating a sense of optimism?
Well, it might be that you take time out to ascertain the level of optimism for and within your business. Such an approach should at least enable you to benchmark where you are on the optimism scale and help you to identify areas that you may need to address. This may include consideration of the overall future success and prospects for the business as well as the roles of individuals. It is not always the case that the two are necessarily aligned. For example, whilst someone might feel optimistic about the prospects for the business, they may feel less optimistic about their personal role, and vice versa. Ideally both need to be favourably aligned.
With an understanding and appreciation of your organisation’s sense of optimism you can then look to working on those areas that will improve or enhance the optimism. This could include a number of things such as a more positive leadership style, clearer and better defined and better communicated business objectives, the provision of new working practices, staff training, addressing hard to fill roles, job security, career prospects and progression for individual staff. The key though will be to ensure a level of optimism that does not drop, in fact if anything it increases. There will therefore be a need to monitor performance and adapt and react to changing circumstances. Undoubtedly this will draw on your own resolve, energy and motivation.
To finish on a level of optimism, the benefits of creating a heightened level of optimism for and within your business can contribute to improved productivity, an enhanced ability to deal with challenges and great resilience and wellbeing, along with improved staff retention and recruitment. Who therefore wouldn’t make 2023 the year to focus on improving the level of optimism within their organisation?