Here we are just two weeks into the new year, and already some people are feeling like their New Year’s Resolutions are doomed. We started the year with a tumbling mix of reminiscing, eating, partying, fireworks, and then discussions of how the coming year will be different. That gave birth to an admirable list of New Year’s resolutions that inspired some people… but prompted snickers from others. And so it began.
When resolutions are personal — lose weight, stop smoking, spend more time with family, stop wearing that meat dress — cynics can be a downer, but they are not necessarily a deciding factor in whether or not your new vision will be realized. However, when the resolutions are corporate — improve customer satisfaction levels by 7.3%, reduce call center wait times by 12%, introduce new CRM software and train all staff by June 1 — a few disapproving voices in the crowd can be as deadly as a team of snipers.
Here are four ways to make sure your New Year’s Resolutions don’t end up on the casualty list:
- Involve the team. Discuss the planned resolutions with the people who will be affected before making things official. This can help identify any challenges that might block their success, as well as uncover some ideas or approaches that might improve the chances of success. Every bit as important though, involving people in the planning will increase the sense of ownership by everyone, which means they’re more likely to feel it’s their idea, rather than one more thing they’re being told to do.
- Find a way to add some fun to the mix. Let’s face it. People do what they enjoy doing. If you want people to play along with your new initiatives, make sure it feels like play. Put up a few posters to track progress. Make it a competition. Have a few fun awards for people who are really getting into it.
- Make sure there is some tie-in between the resolution’s success and the team’s well-being. If your resolution is to reduce staff by 40%, don’t be surprised if the staff just don’t seem motivated to help make it happen. Let everyone see specifically how they’ll be better off if your resolution succeeds.
- Identify regular checkpoints. Name actual dates throughout the process to measure how things are moving along and to adjust plans if necessary. It’s been said that any flight is actually off course over 90% of the time, but appears to always be on target because it continually measures and corrects as it moves along. The more often you measure and modify, the more it will feel like things are moving along exactly as they should be.
A sad fact of making New Year’s Resolutions is that all too often, it seems to be the cynics who win. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By following these steps, you can help keep your team on track, and your resolution a success story!