Top Ten Tips for... Starting the New Year in Style
Now the Christmas celebrations are over, January can feel like a tricky time for everyone to feel motivated and excited about the year ahead.
Customers are reigning in their spending after Christmas and before the end of the financial year, annual reports are being compiled and the yearly ‘to do’ lists reviewed.
But January is an excellent month to take stock and review the basics that keep your business operating effectively before it gets busy again. It’s time for those ‘rainy day,’ bottom of your ‘to do’ list jobs. It's the perfect time of year to inspire your workforce and motivate them for what will hopefully be a successful 2020.
Here are our Top Tips for the New Year:
Review and reflect
How was 2019 for you? Reviewing and reflecting on what your successes were and what perhaps didn’t go as well is important if you want to continue to develop. A good way to do this is to engage with your colleagues or your customers/clients and to carry out an end of year survey. You may be surprised about what encouraging feedback and ideas you receive.
January can feel a gloomy and depressing time, can’t it? Organising a celebratory event for your colleagues to look forward to in January is a great way of keeping everyone motivated and inspired. You could look at ways of rewarding staff who have achieved new qualifications or accreditation for training by hosting an award ceremony or celebratory event.
Engage with your employees
You might have some amazing business plans in mind for the year ahead but it’s also important to consider what your employee’s aspirations and ideas are by engaging with them. Your end of year survey will help you do this. Your employees are one of your biggest assets so it’s important they feel motivated and involved in the business, where possible. It might be that they want to see more flexible working opportunities, mentoring or the chance to study or learn a new skill.
Provide opportunities to learn and develop
January tends to be a month of reflection and your colleagues may be thinking about their career development opportunities. They may even be considering applying for a new job. This is the perfect time to show them there are opportunities to continue to learn and develop with your company. Simply asking your employees what they hope the future holds for them may be enough to stop them leaving. Engagement is key – you’ll never know what people’s aspirations are until you ask.
When you are feeling incredibly busy in your workplace it can seem difficult to take time out for things which might be considered a little ‘softer’ like networking. But joining a professional association or taking a more active role in one where you’re already a member can lead to fruitful relationships and opportunities. Professional organisations provide plenty of opportunities to volunteer, gain experience and to share knowledge.
Take stock of your roles and responsibilities
Think about what you love about your job, and the things you would change if you could. January is a good time to reflect on how you work, both individually, as a team and as a manager. What are your main challenges and frustrations? Are you good at delegating or do you take on too much? What relationships work well and which need some work? Making some simple changes before the new year begins, could make all the difference.
Get back to basics
If your clever filing system, client catch-ups, colour coded emails, brainstorming sessions and team meetings have slipped during 2019, now is the time to get back on track and to work smarter. It’s easy to lose sight of the basic systems you have in place and which make your business run smoothly when things get busy. This could involve deleting old emails, upgrading your operating systems, booking one-to-ones with your co-workers, checking your fire safety policies and insurance or making repairs to buildings and resources.
Create an action plan for 2020
The year ahead is more likely to be successful and less stressful if you plan ahead. An action plan will help you focus on the steps you need to take and it should align with your existing strategies. Crossing each action off as you achieve it will help you see how far you’ve come and will be motivational if problems occur. An action plan is especially important if your goals are complex.
It’s great to have ambitious plans for 2020 – but how are you going to make them a reality? Business planning is a big part of any organisation and it’s essential to inspire you and your workforce. A good place to start is by doing a SWOT analysis, which looks at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The results can be particularly effective in helping you decide whether you are ready to embark on a new venture. The objectives will also be essential for your annual report or when updating your executive teams or directors.
Help improve work/life balance
January is traditionally a time when we reflect on our health and wellbeing and what we can do to make positive changes. We spend most of our lives at work and balancing our busy work life with families, hobbies and holidays can be stressful. We expect our employees to be focused and productive while at work but encouraging them to get their work/life balance right will protect them from potentially burning out. This could include a flexible working policy.
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cHRysos HR Solutions is a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs nationwide. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1302 802128.