new-years-resolutionsA new year is always a great time to start putting some positive best practices into your work strategy. As you plan out your goals and what you hope to achieve in 2016, please consider the following as resolutions for you and your team:

1. Have Plenty of Conflict
A healthy team is one where there is plenty of conflict. Not the type of personal conflict that can place stress on the company culture but the type of conflict in which your employees passionately offer their ideas and then fight for their point of view. Employees that feel safe to argue with their bosses and co-workers in a constructive manner will help to create innovative thoughts and strategies for the New Year and help foster a positive work culture over the long term.

2. Create Brand Ambassadors Amongst Your Team
Place this into the metrics for your team as a “to-do” item. Show them how to correspond with your social media feeds as a way to showcase your team as a positive model for your organization. Pictures from team outings, congratulatory posts about work anniversaries and career milestones can help get the dialogue started. This simple process goes a long way to help with employee engagement, recruiting efforts and retaining top talent.

3. Live Your Values
Most employees cannot tell you the company values. Perhaps they are words in the hall or on banners in the cafe, but values without actions are meaningless. Place your values at the forefront for 2016. Showcase how your values are driving your daily activity. Also, be sure to acknowledge and reward those team members that are living the company’s values. Have open discussions about what business issues undermine the company’s values and how to overcome them. Authentic leaders will bring values to life.

4. Work-Life Balance
Let’s face it; the typical workday is no longer 8-5. With so many remote options, work can be done as easily at 6:00 a.m., as it can be at 10:00 p.m. Encouraging your team to have a sense of work-life balance will help to invigorate them. Employees with the freedom to exercise, meditate or whatever their interests may be, help to keep their engagement and enthusiasm for the company. They will also approach the project or task at hand with a fresh perspective and readiness. Allow your teammates the freedom and autonomy to complete their work on their own schedule and then reward them as they meet and beat the team’s goals.

5. Be An Active Listener
Most of us do not distinguish between listening and active listening. Active listening means being attentive to what someone else is saying. The goal of active listening is to understand the feelings and views of the person. It is an essential component of effective communication. Paraphrasing and summarizing are a couple of simple exercises to get you started. Just imagine how effective you and your team can be when you are all actively listening to one another and to others in the organization.

6. Have Fun!
What motivates you and your team for success? Is it commissions, recognition, sense of accomplishment, or is it something more personal? We need to take time to celebrate the wins. Whether it is a simple acknowledgement in a team meeting, a small gift card or perhaps it is a larger financial reward, take the time to celebrate success before moving on to the next task.

Clark Jenkins is Vice President for ICC, an OI Global Partner, and is passionate about creating brand awareness and building lasting relationships within the Cincinnati business community. To connect with Clark follow him on Twitter at @clarkajenkins, or on LinkedIn, click here.

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