It’s beginning to look a lot like… the end of the year! Managers, executives, team, and project leaders alike hope for smoother sailing for the rest of the decade. In the holiday spirit of retrospection and optimism, make sure your New Year’s resolutions are relevant and position you to impact your organization and those led by you.
The Actimo team proposes a shortlist of resolutions this year aimed at resilience and achieving goals through successful leadership.
Here are four impactful New Year’s resolutions for good leaders determined to be great in 2021:
1. Take steps to embrace change.
As a leader, welcoming change with open arms can be a catalyst for an organization’s continuous improvement. Truly embracing change encompasses not only reacting to it but also acknowledging change(s) will happen and taking steps to adapt faster and better every time. Responding by readjusting strategy, reallocating resources, and hoping that decisions take effect quick enough is merely a good start.
A recent survey by Harvard Business Review found that 85% of executives say market forces are requiring them to create more agile business cultures. Although it is not the be-all and end-all solution, starting and/or developing an organization’s agile journey is making strides towards it becoming more adaptable.
More on becoming an adaptable and agile leader here.
Leadership involvement and team collaboration in an employee’s path to understanding, accepting, and growing during and after a change, can also make it a more positive experience. After all, the worst way to try to deal with change is to do so alone.
In the new year, adopt joint efforts to be more agile, and be there for your employees every step of the changing way. Doing so will allow your organization and the people in it to better deal with changes, overcome significant setbacks or take advantage of potential benefits.
2. Connect and communicate more.
Leaders and employees being disconnected like islands is less than ideal. Not having enough relevant information from all directions can impede the goals of becoming more dynamic. More importantly, employees must feel connected to a purpose and each other to stay motivated and productive.
A commitment to connecting with colleagues or direct reports in the current climate might seem difficult at first glance. Yet, executing a sound internal communication strategy can be easier with some creativity and the right tools. Check out best practices on increasing effective two-way communication throughout an organization as well.
Taking advantage of technology, especially the right digital tools, can help decision-makers communicate better and more often, increasing employee engagement. Actimo is an excellent example of this type of tool, and the app also facilitates remote onboarding and training. Request a free demo.
While social distancing is still in place, virtual, social gatherings and digital activities are worth exploring to maintain the desired organizational culture. Leaders can take the initiative in planning and/or actively participating and promoting these. Some ideas include short presentations or conferences with special guests, customizable social trivia using Kahoot!, and the beloved classic: happy hours. Having opportunities to build relationships and trust across an organization could contribute to future learning, collaboration, and creating the culture everyone wants— a fun one!
3. Learn something everyday.
Get on board the train towards continuous learning, or the ever-changing business world may leave you and your organization behind.
This New Year’s resolution involves leading by example. In a McKinsey article, management experts discuss the importance of leaders leaving arrogance at the door. All leaders can learn. Ways to do so include exploring learning development tools, but also asking more questions and receiving (and providing) feedback. It also involves facing fears, meaning attempting new things, sometimes failing, but growing because of it. Keep in mind that learning can happen in day-to-day interactions, which is why improving and increasing communication is, again, of immense value.
On the other hand, supporting employee growth and development is also beneficial for a business and the individuals involved. In doing so, beware of crossing the line to coerce or micromanage learning. According to a Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, there has been a shift toward innovative platforms that enable people to develop themselves, instead of general, internal, people-development programs. Learn more about said report and executives’ insights on creating a continuous learning culture here.
Commit to learning at least one thing a day, and support employees’ personal and professional development by letting them choose more of its what’s, when’s and how’s. Watch people notice, appreciate, and perhaps even: blossom because of it.
4. Show people you care.
We mean care about others’ well-being and issues that deeply affect them. The year 2020 has shaken society to its core. Being led with empathy and compassion throughout its aftereffects is what people are hoping for.
We must acknowledge that humans, including yourself and your employees, need more support than ever. Studies suggest the number of people looking for mental health help has skyrocketed. Just from January to September 2020, there was a 93% increase over the 2019 total number of anxiety screens in the US.
Employees often look at leaders for support or at least a sense of direction. Look at Actimo’s 12 Well-being initiatives for both leaders and employees for inspiration on how to start helping your workforce. Additionally, we suggest you show employees you care by leading with as much transparency as possible and prioritizing connection and engagement. Ask what you can do for people, and be accessible, flexible, and present. Being compassionate in these ways can go a long way for improving employee trust, motivation, and retention.
Respect is due for putting your team first, but do not undermine your health and well-being in doing so. Going back to leading by example, but realize that if you as a leader burn yourself out, you will not be able to work at your best for your organization’s people.
Now that we have a list of New Year’s resolutions for leaders with the potential to be powerful, let’s work on keeping them. Especially the last one.
Seek to genuinely care and share the importance of adapting, connecting with others, and learning continuously. Doing so is bound to make you a more successful leader in 2021.
Cheers to new opportunities and growth for the rest of the decade.
Happy, happy new year from our Actimo family to yours!