Our mantra since 2009 is a gamechanger when we are workign remotely!
When we are all working from home finding the self-leadership, focus, and motivation is essential.
Why did we choose that mantra? It was just after the Financial crisis of 2008. We had enough funds in the bank to not need a single assignment all year and still stay afloat so we decided to dedicate a full year to quality. Now we had the time for development and recovering after some very hectic years.
Or so we thought!
Without even noticing we did both. We spent lots of time on structure, we achieved our first EQS, Eura Quality Seal and we worked on structure, templates, streamlining processes, a new website, and created a wonderful database for all of our properties. Along with these ambitious undertakings, we also increased our turnover by 35%.
How could that even be possible?
Well, let’s just say we were younger, but so were our children…
In any event, part of what we did was to say “Do it right the first time”!
What does that mean and why is it so important?
Working with a focus to do it right from the beginning. Backtracking to correct, clean up your own mistakes is depressing and most often totally unnecessary. To dedicate full attention to what you are doing was something we kept talking about and doing. It also worked. We had less damage control.
When we realized how much extra work is created by taking shortcuts when you are working under high pressure it was clear that single-tasking was definitely a winning formula.
By doing it right the first time we achieved;
Better work-life balance
We also, more importantly, managed to do a lot more
We could help more clients
We could provide more value
We didn’t waste time going back to correct things
It is much more expensive to correct mistakes than doing it right the first time!
We could take more pride in our work
We didn’t have to discuss endlessly how to do damage control?
We didn’t have the negativity of stress over failing
We didn’t feel inept or incompetent
None of this would have been possible without being a tight-knit team. There was an element of competitiveness, but also of great camaraderie. The mix was perfect.
We knew how to reward ourselves after a job well done. After a high-pressure period, we took a day off and went to the spa, and another time we went horseback riding.
We knew to celebrate wins.
Did this strategy happen when we had especially easy clients?
Nope, quite the opposite.
We had several high-volume clients with low salaries and high expectations. This translated into hopes for nice properties in the most exclusive parts of town. Was that possible?
Actually, it wasn’t and one Monday morning two relocation specialists cried because they knew they had a very tough week ahead of them. Again. This is when we learned to set and manage expectations. We produced materials, strategies to succeed, and a process to brief both the transferee and HR to get them on board with the local housing shortage. For many years the disconnect between disposable income and the housing market was so big that especially angry newcomers to Sweden wanted to sue their recruiters and HR for not telling it like it is.
This is when we learned that while you can outsource a task, you can’t outsource a “mission impossible” and expect it to be solved.
We learned to address realities upfront. Educating local HR was not so hard since they also conquered the same problems with the same housing privately, and we really worked well together with our clients.
When I look back at this period about 12 years ago, I can see that a lot of the work we did then is actually part of what and how we do things today. Working with focus never goes out of style. We are now hoping to be able to celebrate wins more and not least celebrate our 26th anniversary!
This year when we had our Management Review and internal conference (on Zoom this year) we put in “DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME” to be done by all of us! It never goes out of style.
Part of what we learned from studying and thinking about productivity & wellbeing is outlined in the Motivational Mojo. A 4-week long online program helping you to work less not more and create better things. It was a labor of love and all of our clients are introduced to try it for free. Press here
One of the recommentations is;
Many other nuggets of wisdom (or by trying and failing) are shared in the program.
Try it you will like it!