3 Work Resolutions That Can Make a Real Difference in the New Year

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The New Year is fast approaching and many of us will resolve to hopefully make longer lasting changes in our lives. A good percentage of those resolutions fail, however, especially when we try to achieve them on an individual level. But on a company level, the success rates can be higher because business leaders can influence new behaviors and make a real difference on how effectively employees can do their jobs. Here are some ideas worth considering for your workplace:

Ridding the Calendar of Phantom Meetings: Having a calendar full of meetings is bad enough, but a significant chunk of those meetings show up again and again without actually happening; meaning, a conference room is booked for a “phantom” team of people. The recurring meeting that actually does happen is infamous for clogging up a team’s schedule as well because those meetings can oftentimes be replaced with a simple email or conducted with fewer people. Are the agenda items and intended outcomes shared in advance? Is your team clear on the meeting’s purpose and what is expected of them? The New Year is the perfect time to set such criteria. One way to incentivize meeting attendees to value their time is by creating boundaries around lateness and no-shows or by releasing scheduled rooms. Another way is by holding meetings just before a time they really value during the day, like lunch!

Creating Respite in an Open Plan: Imagine the constant email pings. Phones ringing. Chatter about yesterday’s game. How is anyone expected to work around here? The modern office has been redesigned for better collaboration and team camaraderie but at the cost of privacy and true productivity for some due to human and digital distractions. Many employees cite that proximity to other colleagues has greatly affected their concentration. Take a look around: you’ll notice how some individuals deal with incessant noise by using ear buds, ear plugs and headphones. Others are taking short strolls around the block, making trips to a nearby coffee shop or booking precious meeting room resources to get away. Without the benefit of private offices, company leaders should consider providing furniture and spaces that can be easily reconfigured – from couches, moveable walls and desks that prevent employees from seeing one another. Also consider offering flexible seating arrangements (or ‘musical chairs’ at work) to help workers discover where they work best and stay inspired. Most importantly, leaders can instill confidence in their workforce by collecting feedback about their ideal work conditions and incorporating that into their workspace design.

Encourage More Face Time with Distributed Teams: In a digital world, leaders should not underestimate the power of face-to-face meet ups. Take advantage of available video conferencing technology to communicate with your teams on a daily basis. This gives employees the opportunity to connect with one another on a much deeper level than a phone call, email or text-based chat. Not only does it bring out people’s personalities, but it can also help everyone interpret non-verbal communication, which in business, is equally important as what’s being said. It also helps employees pick up on certain cues – being visibly excited, confused or bored, waiting for their turn to speak – and adjust conversation flow accordingly.

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