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Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, but have you ever considered that they can be effective tools to get your team aligned around common goals?
Of course, the problem with New Year’s resolutions is that it’s often difficult to keep them. In fact, according to clinical psychologist Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D., writing for U.S. News, an astounding 80 percent of people wind up giving up on theirs by mid-February. Yet failure isn’t inevitable—so long as you’re motivated and know how to accomplish smaller changes that eventually lead to your goal. The interesting part in all of this is that when you and your employees make one or more resolutions together, the fact that you’re working as a team encourages everyone to succeed.
To ensure your team is successful, you need to do more than simply select a New Year’s resolution. You need a solid strategy. Begin by getting everyone together to choose a resolution that benefits the entire team. It can be aligned with company goals, but it also can be focused on employee wellness or some other objective your people feel strongly about. Just make sure it’s realistic and attainable.
Next, clearly define what the resolution is. For example, it could be, “We’re going to land five percent more accounts this year.” It could also be something like, “We’re going to become a healthier workplace.” After this, brainstorm ways to achieve your objective, such as finding new avenues to source clients or going on group walks at lunchtime. Then divide the process up into mini-goals over the year and determine check-in dates when the whole team will come together to review progress. You should also determine a process for corrective action. If you’re not on track by March, then you probably need to get your team together to revisit your approach and, if necessary, adjust your goal.
Finally, it’s important to keep everyone excited and motivated. Place a motivation board in the office and encourage team members to fill it with images, words, articles, and achievements that relate to your resolutions. Send out regular updates on the team’s progress—and don’t forget to remind everyone what the end goal is!
Setting New Year’s resolutions with your team isn’t hard but keeping them is. However, if you’re realistic and create a sound strategy, then the process of working together towards a goal of your employees’ choosing can be a real team-building exercise that creates a stronger, more cohesive, and more successful team.