New year, new you! It’s that time of year again when we are feeling motivated, excited, and committed to making a change. We’re considering ways to be more physically fit, mentally sound, or even financially stable. Unfortunately, more often than not, the energy around these goals tends to fade as we move through January. In fact, “25% of people who make a New Year’s resolution give up by January 7.” What if we told you there were professional resolutions that would be easy to introduce and form as habits? Stay with us.
Resolutions vs. Goals
Let’s first get clear – a resolution and a goal are not one and the same. A resolution is a decision to do or not do something starting immediately. A goal is an end toward which your effort is directed; something you start working on now with the desire to achieve at a later date. When you make a resolution, you are resolving to do something now and in turn, you’ll experience an immediate impact.
How Are New Year’s Resolutions Applicable at Work?
Whether your resolution is personal or professional, the new year is a perfect time to set an intention for the upcoming year. Companies do this all the time – they set their earnings goals, sales goals, and hiring targets, and resolve to achieve these goals with specific actions. Niche down even further and consider what you’d like to start doing with your own team right now to contribute to the success of your direct reports as well as the broader success of your company!
Ideas for Team Resolutions
Consider implementing easily achievable resolutions that you can start with minimum effort and maximum impact:
- Improve cross-team communication: Is your team often working in siloes, especially when remote? Consider implementing a team meeting where everyone shares status updates, or perhaps an online tool that allows for interactive communication on projects.
- Implement ways to support a better work/life balance: Take stock of your team’s time off and set regular reminders to check in on PTO balances. Do you have people who are not planning time off? Address this and better yet – model that behavior yourself. Support time off by identifying “backup” support so people feel like they can truly disconnect while they’re out.
- Celebrate successes: Whether it’s regular written recognition for individual achievements or taking the team out for a team win, be sure to celebrate! Don’t let the next objective overshadow an achievement. Take time to celebrate the wins and motivate the team for the next task.
- Share feedback more frequently: Rather than wait for performance review time, share real-time feedback. Did a direct report handle a meeting particularly well? Call them after the meeting and let them know. Did a team member struggle to meet a deadline? Set up a meeting to discuss how this can be improved in the future.
- Work toward a more psychologically-safe environment: Create an environment where team members don’t think twice about disagreeing or sharing feedback, where mistakes are discussed openly and not behind others’ backs, and where there are no barriers to sharing information. Evaluate your role as a manager in creating psychological safety, and lead with transparency, self-awareness, and with a growth mindset. Need some support? Consider a Teamraderie experience to reinforce your commitment to psychological safety.
How to Ensure Your Resolution is Successful
Now is the time to combine goals and resolutions. Set actionable milestones to ensure your resolutions are successful. For example, set up that team meeting to improve cross-team communication. Perhaps send a reminder to your team to start thinking about 2023 PTO plans. Where applicable, involve your team in the process! Incentivize them with rewards – using the examples above, consider asking your team to identify their “backup” person and plans for when they’re out on vacation. The first person who can successfully put together their plan gets a gift from the company store (you get the idea!). Everything you start and repeat will become a habit. Your team will appreciate your leadership and will get used to the “new normal” quickly!
You can do this! Use professional resolutions to your advantage and that of your team. It will pay dividends in the long run, and the short-term immediate results will show initiative and have an impact. Resolve to make 2023 your best professional year yet!