Nothing quite sums up this time of year like the phrase "new year, new me." While it is probably the biggest cliché of all time upon the arrival of every new year, its meaning never gets lost or tired. Often synonymous to personal goals and resolutions, it can also be applied to one's professional life and work style, too.
For businesses, 2021 was a year full of uncertainty, with many still figuring out how to transition back into the office and motivate employees to adapt to an ever-changing work landscape, and trying to increase staff morale time and time again.
As we plan for the upcoming year, it can be daunting to try to pinpoint just a few areas we want to really tackle and put our focus behind. Yet, just like any New Year's resolution, it is important to not make anything too ambitious, as lofty goals tend to fizzle out by mid-February (remember when we said we would start a habit of running every morning at 5, rain or shine?). Working toward a goal that's attainable can boost your own workplace morale as well as that of your employees.
Here are a few resolutions every manager can make for the new year:
Celebrate the Small Wins
It's no big secret that employees enjoy praise for their hard work and efforts. That's why it's always best for managers to ensure they are showing appreciation to their employees for their successes.
Even the greatest leaders can overlook the smaller victories without acknowledging how essential they are to achieve bigger goals. Whether your team member achieved a small increase in sales or was able to sign one or two clients onto your company's roster, celebrating these wins matters.
Uncover Your Team's Learning Style
When it comes to better supporting your employees, one thing that often gets overlooked is uncovering their learning styles. According to the VARK model, there are four styles of learning: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic.
By learning how your team processes and retains information, you can better support them in their daily tasks. If the majority of your team are visual learners, consider making image-heavy presentation decks mandatory (or strongly suggested) when the team is required to learn new information. Is one of your employees an auditory learner? Try having a one-on-one phone call with them to discuss their most recent project.
Once you discover your team's learning styles you can tailor your management style to better facilitate the way they digest information.
Deliver Clear and Effective Feedback
Feedback is essential for growth. However, many managers feel reluctant to give critical feedback, because they fear the person receiving it may take it negatively or, worse, personally.
This year, make it a goal to deliver clear feedback to your team. When giving an evaluation or performance review, be concise and constructive. You want the person on the receiving end to think about possible solutions for the challenges you have raised. Giving the right feedback can allow your employee to bring up any learning opportunities they may have felt too shy to bring forward.
Say Thank You More
It's a simple goal, but one that really goes a long way. Showing your employees gratitude on a regular basis fosters a positive workplace environment and elevates the morale of all staff.
Want to really make an impact? Try writing a thank-you card and slipping it under someone's keyboard or giving a shout-out to a deserving team member in front of the entire staff. These little gestures go a long way in creating a gratitude-focused workplace.