This Is How You Make A New Year's Resolution That Matters

Posted by Cathy Reilly

bloomua;bigstockWe’re almost a week into the New Year. How are you holding up with your New Year’s resolution?

If you’ve already abandoned your diet or given up on the idea of learning Japanese, don’t feel bad. A poll from Marist found that 36 percent of people who made a New Year’s resolution for 2015, didn’t keep it.

Instead of trying to keep one of the traditional, yet seemingly impossible resolutions, why not make one that can benefit you and your employees?

Here are four leadership goals it’s not too late to set and how they’ll make you a better manager in 2016:

1. Focus on your attitude to increase team moral.

As the old saying goes, one rotten apple can spoil the barrel. That holds especially true for managers and their attitudes.

If you’re not actively engaged or positive about the work you’re doing, then your employees won’t be either. Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager report found that employees that work for engaged managers are 59 percent more likely to be engaged themselves.

Take inventory about what you love and what you dislike about your job and your organization. Then think about how you can use the good things to inspire your employees or how you can improve the negative. By considering what engages you, you can positively impact employee engagement.

For example, if you reward yourself for your successes with a nice, greasy slice of pizza, consider doing the same for your employees. Find out what everyone’s favorite lunch is and when an individual or team performs well, order in that food to celebrate.

2. Be more approachable.

The same Gallup report found that 54 percent of employees who strongly felt they could approach their manager with any question were engaged. Of the employees who didn’t feel like they could turn to their manager, 65 percent were actively disengaged.

Before you say “well that doesn’t apply to me because I’m very approachable,” take a minute to think. How frequently do employees drop by your office, either with a question or just to catch up?

If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a conversation with an employee that lasted more than a minute, you might want to make a conscious effort to be more available. Spend more time out on the floor checking in with your employees. Make it one of your leadership goals to schedule a set time each day when employees can come to you with any feedback or concerns. Let them know that during that time, they’ll have your full attention.

And, most importantly, when your employees speak, listen. An open door policy means nothing, if a manager doesn’t have an open ear as well. [click to tweet]

3. Interact with employees more.

When it comes to your employees, you should know more about them than just their job title. A 2015 survey by Interact revealed the top communication mistakes that prevented business leaders from being effective. Not knowing employees’ names and not asking about their lives outside of work were on the list of top complaints.

That doesn’t mean you should go around to every employee and find out their favorite color. But by being more present during the workday, that type of information will come organically.

Instead of just giving employees tasks and telling them the company’s expectations for each project, help them set individual and team goals. For example, stop in on a brainstorming session and find out what the team has planned. Ask the group what type of performance challenge they would be proud to meet for the project. Also, find out what each individual would like to contribute and get out of the project.

This will not only give employees more interaction with you, but also help align the organization’s goals with those of the employees.

4. Foster a culture of accountability.

Recently, a survey by Waggl asked HR and businesses what they thought top human capital priorities should be for 2016; 73.1 percent said leadership development with “a strong emphasis on personal accountability.” The idea being that, in order to create a culture of accountability, leaders need to incorporate it from the top down.

Set an example by asking employees for feedback on your personal performance. Find out what you’re doing right and where there’s room for improvement. Just as you’d expect an employee to process and adjust after receiving feedback, hold yourself to the same standards.

Show employees that just because you’re the boss, that doesn’t mean you feel like you’re above menial tasks. If the copier is running low on paper after you use it, load it back up. If you take the last cup of coffee, refill the pot. Anything that you would expect an employee to do in order to make the office run more smoothly, you should be willing to do as well.

Remember, it’s never too late in the new year to commit to improving yourself. Think about the type of manager you’d like to be, and make leadership goals for you to achieve in 2016. You might be surprised by the impact that one resolution can have on your team.

What other leadership goals should managers set for themselves this year?


Topics: Resolutions, Management

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