2012 is gone, and 2013 is well underway. Many people have made commitments to themselves to make a change for the better in their professional lives. It’s a new year, so why not start fresh right? People often feel as though the New Year brings a renewed sense of commitment and productivity at work. We’re ready to go for it full steam, so to speak. However, the challenges most people faced before December 31st don’t go away just because the date has changed. And it’s far too easy to fall back in to a less productive slump after a few weeks back at the office. The reality is, when you resolve to make a change, you are adding another challenge to your list. This is the reason why many people let their new year’s resolutions fall to the wayside, and end up falling into old habits.
That’s why it’s important for employers to help motivate and bolster this new found, new-year productivity. Now is the time when many resolutions begin to fall apart – a few weeks after making them. Start by stepping back and observing, and then helping employees find the motivation they need to keep up with their resolutions. In order to see the big picture, try to think of it like a puzzle… every little piece needs to fit together. You start with the frame because those pieces are the easiest to put into place. Once you have a frame to work within, you must analyze each piece to find the right fit. If you are having trouble with a particular piece, try redirecting your focus to a different one.
Just like any goal, keeping up with resolutions requires motivation, planning, effort, and commitment. Goals need to be set. Help your employees focus on mastering the little things that it takes to get there, and incorporate activities that will help them stay there.
Here are five ways to keep your employees’ resolution(s) and productivity alive in the New Year:
- Reminders – It is far too easy to get lost in the whirlwind, lose sight of your goal, and resort to old behaviour. Reminding yourself will help you to stay on track. There are so many ways to do this depending on the type of person you are. You can set a reminder in your smartphone, post up some inspirational quotes and pictures around your work station, or try changing the wallpaper or screensaver on your computer. Do whatever you need to do to keep your resolution a consistent part of your routine.
- Tell somebody – Always make your resolution for you and no one else, but seriously, don’t be afraid to tell somebody about it. Assuming that your resolution is not of a personal nature, telling someone can be huge step in the right direction. They don’t have to be your coach or your support line, but simply having someone ask you how things are going can help push you forward. Some people have the ability to internalize their intent and carry through, but for many of us, having someone other than our self that is aware or our efforts can really help us get over the hump.
- Fresh air – Go outside. Being cooped up all day will more than likely limit your output. Going for a walk or simply stepping outdoors for 2-3 minutes can break up the monotony of whatever you might be doing. If you do take a step back from your task to clear your head, it will allow you to see the bigger picture and find the holes in your work.
- Interaction – Don’t forget to interact with others around you. The ability to have an off-handed conversation can really help boost morale. You’ll want to avoid extensive conversations that are not work related, and you definitely want to make sure you are not interrupting people all the time. We’re not trying to distract, but a simple comment and response every once in a while can really make a big difference.
- Music – If you work at a desk and your workplace allows it, music can be a great tool for inspiration. The positive energy gained from listening to your favourite songs can put a smile on your face and go a long way towards increasing productivity. If your workplace does not allow you to wear headphones at your desk, then take the opportunity to energize yourself with some music during your breaks.
Implementing a culture in the office that pays attention to these areas can do wonders for employees who may feel less than motivated after a few weeks of hard work. These five small areas can make a huge difference in terms of productivity, motivation and happiness at the office.
About the author:
Robert Groce is an online marketing associate with Metric Marketing, a full-service hybrid marketing agency. To learn more about increasing employee engagement and productivity through HR solutions visit People First HR Services.