Just a quick look at innovation, trends, and inflation, make it clear that companies need their workers to give 100% to continue adapting and thriving. The beginning of the year is a great time to jumpstart your team, reinvigorate focus and increase motivation. For many managers, this is also the time to revisit processes, team responsibilities, and initiatives. However, the 88% fail rate of New Year’s resolutions plagues businesses (and individuals) each year. To overcome the odds, use these tips to jump-start your team and conquer more, together!
- Stay In Touch: If you’re waiting for business and offices to return to the way things were pre-pandemic, that will remain out of sight. Instead, embrace whatever “new normal” you have found and keep communication consistent. Stay in touch with all employees, including those in the office and those working remotely. Connect across departments and keep the lines clear. This creates a streamlined, rather than chaotic, work environment that encouraged focus and engagement of all employees.
- Start with a Plan: It’s always essential to know where you’re going, starting with where you currently are. This provides a sense of direction and objectives to your employees. You don’t want to enter the new year confused and clueless. Make a roadmap, allow for roadblocks and hazards, but create a plan for where you are starting and where you want to end up by the end of the year.
- Focus on Creativity: The new year is a great time for everyone to focus on new ideas, innovation, and break away from traditional modes. Encourage creativity in January, consider hosting some type of “new idea contest” or other similar incentive program.
- Distinguish Goals from Resolutions: In January, these two terms can be used interchangeably but a goal is not the same as a resolution. While goals have very specific metrics, timelines, and quantitative data, resolutions are typically more qualitative and conceptual. Both of these can be helpful, and may be used together, but they are clearly different. Once you have determined your goals and/or resolutions, make them public. Don’t keep them a secret, make sure the entire company knows what they are working towards.
- Ask for Feedback: The new year is a great time to ask your employees for feedback on the last year. During this natural time of reflection, you may discover some extremely valuable feedback that can help you grow.
- Forget the Blame: Now is not the time to go over why something didn’t work last quarter and to relive the mistakes of others. This is not a great way to start a new year. Recognize a mistake if necessary, but quickly learn from them and focus on how to move forward rather than play the blame game for another quarter.
- Focus on done, not perfect: Francis Mariela, president and owner of Francis Mariela Communications said, “So many times, we place perfection above all else, and it leaves no room for flexibility. Sometimes, completing a project is better than the imaginary perfection we want out of it.” Rather than wasting so much time and energy on perfection, give the best you can at the time you can give it and move on to the next project.
- Reevaluate the Way It’s Done: Companies often make the same mistake of continuing to do things the way they have always done them. As your company grows, the processes you started out with will no longer suffice. Over time, the process, methods, routines and norms must grow and change as well. January is a great time to reevaluate common processes and procedures and truly consider whether it’s still the best way to get the work done or whether it is no longer benefiting the company.
- Don’t Overcommit: It’s easy to see 2022 as a bed of roses and rainbows in January. Our motivation is high and our expectations are even higher. Overcommitting in January makes for a very stressful March and failure before Spring officialy arrives. Instead, take on what you can handle – understand the bandwidth of your team and your company and create resolutions that are realistic and achievable.
- Know Your Why: We are all in business to make money, but that can’t be the driving force behind your goals. Asking why you want to do what you are doing can provide a huge push in motivation. Remind yourself of the real reason you’re in business, why you do what you do, why you care about your customers, and why people need your product or service will reinvigorate your drive and determination.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Change: Change makes us uncomfortable, which is a natural reaction. However, it’s a critical part of growth. Sujan Patel, a Forbes Contributor said, “While it may not feel like it at the moment, a little bit of discomfort goes a long way in terms of personal development. Sure, no one likes feeling uncomfortable, but it’s a big part of improving your performance, creativity and learning in the long run.” Be open to new ideas, even if they seem crazy at first. Being uncomfortable is part of the game.
Many have become cynical about New Years Resolutions because so many of them don’t stick. However, it’s important to remember that goals will always teach us something. Even if you don’t accomplish as much as you want to, you learn along the way, you develop and grow and expand your possibilities. Sometimes the goal isn’t just the finish line, it’s everything that happens along the way.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Success is up to you. Your mindset and mental health are a huge part of what success looks like. It’s so easy to be passive and assume that outside circumstances like an employee shortage, a pandemic, or supply chain issues determine our fate. But the reality is that our thoughts and our actions have much more to do with our outcomes than we ever imagined. Use 2022 to ensure your thoughts lead to actions that produce successful results.