It’s a new year, and if your workplace is like most, this means new projects, new budgets, and fresh goals for both individual employees and the company as a whole. As they return from a few days away, your employees will be stepping back to their posts with fresh annual evaluations in hand and a set of carefully tailored goals and expectations for 2013. As a manager (or business owner), you’ll want to capitalize on this wave of novelty, energy, and ambition. Take these steps.
Start the Year off Right
1. Implement, act, and energize before the midwinter doldrums set in. While mid-January represents a great time to give your employees a shot in the arm and a fresh burst of new responsibility, this window tends to pass by mid-February. Tackle big obstacles now instead of putting them off.
2. Set an example. If you charge into work with a fresh face and a great attitude, whatever the weather looks like outside, your energy and commitment will be catching. Set the tone, and don’t expect your employees to bring more drive to the office than you do.
3. Keep employees connected, rather than isolated. Schedule more team meetings and status updates than usual, but keep them short, and close every meeting with positive remarks and a clear list of action items.
4. Think spring. Longer, sunnier days are just around the corner. Act as if they’re already here. Let as much natural light into the office as your employees can tolerate, and keep rooms, workspaces and tasks infused with fresh air—both literal and metaphorical.
5. Care about morale and attitude. These things are intangible, but they’re real. They’re also contagious. And they have a powerful impact on your company’s bottom line. When you see subtle cracks developing in the general mood, or when grumbling, rumors, boredom and infighting flair up, get to the source of the problem and take action. If necessary, consider scheduling a team-building training day or weekend retreat in the mountains to build cohesion and break up monotony.
6. Don’t neglect follow up. After their evaluations, your employees were given personal goals for the year ahead. Don’t forget to have managers check in on a regular schedule. Make sure these goals are being taken seriously and kept on track, especially for underperforming employees who need extra guidance.
Reach out to the NC staffing pros at PSU for additional ways to motivate and engage your teams in the year ahead. For help with these and other staffing issues, contact our office to arrange a consultation.