Our minds are programmed to see the start of a new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. Fortunately for us, there are also few better times to update our goals, and this applies to our professional plans just as much as our personal ones. Any good business will acknowledge the importance of being consistent when it comes to checking in with their long-term objectives. The hard part, however, is not losing sight of them when we get caught up in the daily grind. The motivation that is inspired by a new start is likely to fizzle out as more work piles up, causing those crucial big picture goals to be set aside throughout the year. If you are looking to stay on track for a more successful year ahead, we have a few suggestions to get you started, as well as to help you stick with them in the long run.
Suggested business resolutions for employers
1. Become a better listener in the workplace
When it comes to communication, listening is often overlooked as compared to speaking though it is by no means any less important. After all, employees feel valued when they recognise that their opinions actually matter. This can only happen if employers are willing to actively listen to their employees in order to take in their opinions. Promoting active listening in the workplace in this sense can help to boost company morale across all job levels, which in turn further improves job satisfaction, work ethic, staff loyalty, individual mental health, and other important intangibles down the line.
Active listening also enables you to better pick up on your employees’ unique needs, which is integral for the planning and implementation of more effective initiatives. With the widespread implementation of flexible working arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is likely to become even more crucial. This is because more employee interactions are now taking place online rather than in-person, and virtual communication is often less effective due to a lack of visual and social cues that parties can pick up on.
2. Double down on more effective communication
We have discussed the importance of listening for effective communication but let us not forget that this is also just as dependent on mutual, two-way interactions. Employers are ultimately limited in their ability to listen and communicate if employees cannot or will not provide honest feedback and hold open conversations. On the flipside, successfully encouraging effective communication both ways can make a huge difference in helping you to define organisation goals. It also makes it easier for your employees to collaborate more effectively, which is another step towards a more committed and productive workforce.
On a wider level, excellent communication is one of the key deciding factors for job satisfaction and talent retention. A 2020 study found that 62% of employees who planned to remain in their role reported that there was effective communication between them and their employers, while 66% of employees who were planning to leave felt that there were considerable communication gaps1. How organisations handle their workplace communication is generally what distinguishes those with high-performance cultures from others without; it is also what distinguishes extraordinary leaders from ordinary ones.
3. Place a bigger emphasis on employee empowerment
Employee empowerment is a goal that can always be improved upon, no matter how large or how old your organisation is. While working on such seemingly never-ending goals can seem daunting, they are also one of the best ways to ensure your company’s continued success, provided that you are able to persist at it. This is because an empowered company allows its employees to have the knowledge, skill, desire and opportunities to personally succeed in a way that leads to the overall success of the organisation.
This can be achieved by providing your team with the tools and resources for career development. It can also mean offering ample opportunities for them to provide constructive feedback or acknowledging their growth through promotions and award recognitions. At the end of the day, your approach for employee empowerment depends very much on their needs and the needs of the company. You will find that it is a process that takes time and perseverance. But when it is done right, it goes a long way in boosting productivity, creativity, and employee fulfilment. Most of all, it shows your employees that you care about them and their careers, which builds an excellent foundation in fostering a culture of trust and respect.
Tips to stay motivated
Nowthat you have a few ideas on your business resolutions for the coming year, let us talk about how you can keep yourself on track throughout the year.
1. Make your goals known
Adding the weight of external expectations is one way of keeping ourselves accountable and making us more likely to succeed at what we set out to do. In the context of professional goals, it also contributes to the openness and transparency of your organisation, as it does no good to keep employees in the dark about objectives that will affect them. Instead, openly discussing and agreeing on them can promote mutual encouragement and shared accountability. It will also allow them to actively contribute to the overall progress.
2. Break down your goals into achievable steps
Depending on the scope of your goals, it can be easy to overwhelm yourself and your team with lofty and seemingly unreachable targets. This may backfire on you as it causes people to be disappointed and discouraged from the get-go. Instead, consider breaking down your plans with the help of various milestones to make the larger goal more attainable. Splitting them up into manageable phases can also enable you to track your progress along the way, make adjustments accordingly, and even allow you to celebrate small wins as you gradually work towards your overall objective.
3. Focus on the benefits behind your goals
Perhaps the most crucial of these tips to keep you motivated is the suggestion of taking the time to do some soul-searching. When you allow yourself to ask the ‘why’s, it will help you to uncover the core reasons behind your goals as well as their significance to you. They will also reinspire and reinvigorate you when you find yourself faltering over the course of the year. As you progressively recognise the fruits of your labour in the form of these benefits, the small victories will continue to stoke your fire, making it easier to maintain your momentum.
Over to you
These are some of our suggestions to help you plan and look forward to a better year ahead. Your final list of business resolutions may match the ones that we have mentioned here, or you may also come up with others that are even more relevant to your organisation. Either way, trust that you know your organisation best as the most effective plans are often the ones that are designed specifically for your professional needs and circumstances. We hope that the coming year will be a fantastic one for you and best wishes from all of us here at Cigna.
1. Deloitte. (2012). Talent 2020: Surveying the Talent Paradox from the Employee Perspective. Deloitte University Press.