All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
– T.E. Lawrence
1. Get specific When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.
To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.
4. Be a realistic optimist When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
6. Have grit Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.
7. Build your willpower muscle Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.
To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.
8. Don’t tempt fate No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.
9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.
WHAT MAKES EMPLOYEES LEAVE? Employees do not leave an organization without any significant reason. There are certain circumstances that lead to their leaving the organization. The most common reasons can be:
Job is not what the employee expected to be: Sometimes the job responsibilities don’t come out to be same as expected by the candidates. Unexpected job responsibilities lead to job dissatisfaction.
Job and person mismatch: A candidate may be fit to do a certain type of job which matches his personality. If he is given a job which mismatches his personality, then he won’t be able to perform it well and will try to find out reasons to leave the job.
No growth opportunities: No or less learning and growth opportunities in the current job will make candidate’s job and career stagnant.
Lack of appreciation: If the work is not appreciated by the supervisor, the employee feels de-motivated and loses interest in job.
Lack of trust and support in co-workers, seniors and management: Trust is the most important factor that is required for an individual to stay in the job. Non-supportive co-workers, seniors and management can make office environment unfriendly and difficult to work in.
Stress from overwork and work life imbalance: Job stress can lead to work life imbalance which ultimately many times lead to employee leaving the organization.
Compensation: Better compensation packages being offered by other companies may attract employees towards themselves.
New job offer: An attractive job offer which an employee thinks is good for him with respect to job responsibility, compensation, growth and learning etc. can lead an employee to leave the organization.
STRATEGIES FOR EMPLOYEE RETENTION The basic practices which should be kept in mind in the employee retention strategies are:
Hire the right people in the first place.
Empower the employees: Give the employees the authority to get things done.
Make employees realize that they are the most valuable asset of the organization.
Have faith in them, trust them and respect them.
Provide them information and knowledge.
Keep providing them feedback on their performance.
Recognize and appreciate their achievements.
Keep their morale high.
Create an environment where the employees want to work and have fun.
HOW TO INCREASE EMPLOYEE RETENTION 1. Open Communication: A culture of open communication enforces loyalty among employees. Open communication tends to keep employees informed on key issues. Most importantly, they need to know that their opinions matter and that management is 100% interested in their input.
2. Employee Reward Program: A positive recognition for work boosts the motivational levels of employees. Recognition can be made explicit by providing awards like best employee of the month or punctuality award. Project based recognition also has great significance. The award can be in terms of gifts or money.
3. Career Development Program: Every individual is worried about his/her career. He is always keen to know his career path in the company. Organizations can offer various technical certification courses which will help employee in enhancing his knowledge.
4. Performance Based Bonus: A provision of performance linked bonus can be made wherein an employee is able to relate his performance with the company profits and hence will work hard. This bonus should strictly be productivity based.
5. Recreation facilities: Recreational facilities help in keeping employees away from stress factors. Various recreational programs should be arranged. They may include taking employees to trips annually or bi-annually, celebrating anniversaries, sports activities, et al.
6. Gifts at Some Occasions: Giving out some gifts at the time of one or two festivals to the employees making them feel good and understand that the management is concerned about them.