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The HR Manager: What Keeps You Up at Night?

Assessing your daily workflow may fix the problem.

By Molley Ricketts

How are you sleeping these days? Do you lie awake tossing and turning over concerns about your business? Maybe you’re jarred awake trying to remember something you need to accomplish in the morning. If you’re a sleep-deprived small-business owner or CEO, you’re not alone. Experts actually have a name for the condition – appropriately named “Entrepreneur Insomnia.”

I’ve been there. There are nights I still struggle to get a solid six or seven hours. But I have learned some things that help me sleep soundly so I’m energized for the next day.

Surround yourself with the right talent
Running a successful business is complicated. I try to surround myself with “rock stars” who are great at everything I’m not. For example, having a risk taker on the team provides me with a good balance. And of course, you have to delegate. The best executives know to focus on what they do best and to delegate the rest. That is especially effective if you have happy, productive people. You want high performers who have the capacity to grow so your company remains innovative and relevant. So how do you do that?

Disruption isn’t always a bad thing
Sometimes you have to “shake the rug.” We had a client whose year-to-year revenue was stagnant for three years in a row. We helped them realize their people had simply become comfortable and were no longer challenged. These were some difficult conversations to be sure. But in the end, the organization committed to a reorganization, putting people in the right roles and bringing in some new talent. A renewed commitment to innovation has put the company on a path to sustained growth.

Invest in your people
Recognizing high performers and then cultivating the talent within your organization is crucial. Make sure you have the right culture and environment to set people up for success. Are you striving for diversity and encouraging different points of view? You want passionate people but they often come with passionate opinions. That can create conflict. So do you have strong conflict resolution and respect policies in place? Is open communication encouraged and regular feedback scheduled? The old days of only having yearly performance reviews is ineffective.

Strive even harder for that work/life balance
Getting a good night’s sleep is even more of a challenge these days with many of us working from home. I used to just laugh when people asked about my work/life balance. But I’m trying make it much more of a priority to find that balance. I find I can be distracted by “bright, shiny objects.” So I’ve learned some time management techniques. I’m now keeping a rough journal of my time to help me stay focused and accountable to my calendar. I look at my schedule for the week and create a list of priorities. I also ask myself every so often to review what I’ve accomplished in the past 30 minutes. It’s amazing how fast a couple of hours can fly by before you know it. I find if I manage my time, I can get the sleep I need. In turn, that helps me cut down on stress and perform at my best. And isn’t that a goal to which we should all aspire?