The start of a new year is full of potential for leaders to harness with their teams. While you’ve likely thought about your own intentions for the new year, and your team members have probably done the same, leaders have the ability to generate even more forward motion within their teams. If you want to help your team start the year off strong, here are some key things to put on the list:
The end of the year and start of a new one can be busy, but it’s an important time for leaders to carve out space for in-person meetings with their team members. Whether in the context of a year-end review or a less formal discussion, sitting down with individual employees shows them you’re invested in their growth and success. It can spark a new level of motivation to start the year off right.
I recommend starting these conversations with some questions. Establish a dialogue dynamic, and put your employees at ease. This isn’t a lecture. Leaders can’t force their employees to take advantage of the potential of a new year, but they can inspire them. Create a setting in which your employees can be honest, and give them the floor to bring up the things that matter most to them.
Whether you have a scheduled year-end review, or you simply guide the conversation in this direction, these conversations are a great time for evaluation. Again, this is best done as a team. Together, you can highlight the areas that most need improvement. While this is certainly an opportunity to focus on positive change and new goals, it’s equally a time to recognize growth and achievements over the past year.
Leaders can then work with their employees to set some goals and targets for the year ahead. Likely, your conversation will have helped your employee formulate many of these goals on their own. Then together, you can refine and elaborate on them. Acting as a support and creating the space for your employees to connect with their goals is powerful preparation for the year ahead.
Finally, now is the time to plan some follow-up meetings to monitor progress and keep your employees accountable and on track. Whether you plan to check in once a month or once a quarter, getting these meetings on the calendar now creates checkpoints that can motivate continued effort from your team members.
Leaders have the ability to help their employees step confidently into 2020. Ensuring that each member of your team feels supported and creating the space for them to discuss ideas, get feedback, and set goals is a great way for managers to strengthen their team as a whole. How will you support your team members moving into the new year? I’d love to hear your thoughts.