Happy New Year to all of our lovely readers!
Back in 2002, the Journal of Clinical Psychology published a research report which explored the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. 41% of participants made a resolution, based on applying significant changes to their normal lives (including weight loss, exercise programs and quitting smoking). Over time, the researchers found that the participants’ will to stick to their resolutions declined. At the six month analysis period, just 46% reported continuous success.
It seems there’s been little change in the last 15 years. How many people – friends, family members and colleagues – do you know, who are making ambitious resolutions already? We’ve all done it, but the problem is we often set the bar too high. So high, in fact, that we simply can’t achieve it. As our well-intended goals fizzle out, many of us feeling disappointed in ourselves for not achieving a self-imposed, almost-impossible target. That’s hardly a great start to the year, is it?
To begin the New Year in the right way, we’d like to challenge you to something a bit different.
Why not make a manageable, achievable Employee Engagement resolution for 2018? We’ve put together a few ideas, to help you get started. You don’t have to attempt them all – simply pick one, and give it a go!
Resolution 1: Make your definition concrete
To make sure everyone’s on the same page, start with defining employee engagement in your organisation. In our recent research, we discovered that just 14% of organisations have a company-wide definition in place – making strategy and planning near-enough impossible.
If you want to achieve employee engagement success this year, it’s important to get this right. You could send an email to your colleagues, asking them to share their definition of engagement in your organisation via an anonymous link (alternatively, ask them to post notes into a box). If it’s a struggle, or there are significantly differing definitions, you’ll know that redefining engagement is a priority for 2018.
Resolution 2: Focus on making tasks manageable
The beginning of a new year is a great time to get things started. However, looking ahead at everything you need to do over the next twelve months can be overwhelming. Stress can have a huge impact on your working life, and how much you’re able to achieve – though often a few small changes can make all the difference.
For example, if you’re working on a big engagement initiative, try breaking it down into smaller chunks rather than using broad terms. Let’s say you’re planning on launching an employee engagement survey in Q1. Try to avoid listing this as one huge topic on your to-do list, and instead think about the individual components of this task. This might include formulating questions, setting up software or creating data sets (amongst many other items). Breaking a singular project or task down will allow you to see exactly what you need to do to achieve your goal – and will also ensure you don’t forget anything.
Resolution 3: Make the right changes
At the beginning of January, it’s tempting to rush into making changes – whether it’s at work, or in your personal life. However, it’s important that you listen to the facts and focus on making the right changes in your organisation.
If you’ve launched an employee engagement survey in recent months, what did it tell you? Which areas were flagged as focus points, or areas to improve upon? Prioritise acting on these findings in 2018, and refresh your mind on the insights from your employees. Which areas can we act upon immediately, for manageable change? Which points need to be prioritised? Remember, it’s important that you don’t overload yourself, or make promises you can’t keep.
Resolution 4: Prioritise learning & development
How many of us have passed on opportunities to attend courses, or training programmes in the past? This is rarely because we don’t want to learn, or gain a new qualification – we simply convince ourselves that we don’t have time. When you’re part of a busy team, learning and development can end up on the backburner.
The truth is (and we all know this, deep down), we can’t progress if we don’t prioritise learning and development. When it comes to employee engagement, this is especially important; engagement isn’t something you can just ‘do,’ although that’s often assumed to be the case. If you missed out on a training course or programme in 2017, make sure it doesn’t happen again this year.
Take some time out to research courses, programmes or events you want to attend this year. Make a note of the different learning outcomes of each, and decide which ones you should attend. Remember, you’re not letting anyone down by taking a day or two away from the office – you’ll return with vital tools and techniques to share with your team.
If you’re looking for employee engagement training programmes, take a look at the links below to get started:
Resolution 5: Reflect on the good
Many of us get ahead of ourselves at the start of a new year. We’re raring to go once we’re back at work after the Christmas break, with heads full of ideas for the next twelve months. We often skip straight onto the next project, without giving ourselves much time to look back on what we’ve achieved. If this sounds familiar, this resolution could be the one for you.
Take some time out in your first week back, to reflect on the key achievements of 2017. What were the breakthrough moments? What did you achieve, with the help of your colleagues? Which projects gave you the biggest headache – and how did you work together to achieve success? Make a note of everything you were most proud of in 2017, and share it with your team. It’ll be a great boost for the start the year, and will ensure you celebrate everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve before you move on to the next project.
Which resolution did you choose for 2018? Perhaps you have your own resolution planned for the year ahead? Either way, we’d love to hear about it – let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments section below.