Each new year brings with it a few things: a sense of renewal, having to remember which year it is, and resolutions. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, people are determined to become better versions of themselves. Gyms are typically more crowded with resolutioners intent on getting fit and, according to Publishers Weekly, self-help book sales go up at least 30% in the first week of January.
From health kicks like ‘Veganuary’ or ‘Dry January’ to commitments to reading more, many people make resolutions for the new year. Many organizations also promise growth and change, encouraging employees to make healthier choices while also vowing to increase profits and engagement.
Charter, in partnership with Time, wrote recently about how previous suggestions to improve the employee experience amidst the pandemic focused on reducing stress. This included things like days or weeks without video conferencing, “more public and frequent praise, and icebreakers at the start of meetings”, but “we have now reached a point in the pandemic where games and gimmicks can hardly lighten the burdens of so many workers battling a global health crisis”.
Charter writes that employers must ‘meet head on this unrelenting era of uncertainty, helplessness, and exhaustion’.
As ‘unprecedented times’ continue for individuals and organizations alike, it’s important that employers work to support their employees both in and outside of the workplace. Here are some employer new year resolutions that leaders in your organization can implement:
- Make yourself more available to your employees for support. This might mean literally just making yourself more available (here’s my cell phone number, get in touch if you need anything), setting up more 1:1s, or holding more casual meetings where employees can get a chance to talk openly.
- Flexibility is not just a perk anymore. Employees are leaving organizations in favour of flexible work environments, with Benefits Canada reporting that more than half (54%) of Canadian employees surveyed “said they’d leave their employer if current flexibility in schedule and work location isn’t extended post-coronavirus pandemic”.
- In relation to flexibility is trusting your employees more. Charter writes that “the core of offering flexibility is trust”.
- Increase transparency into decision-making, salaries, and hiring.
- Involve employees more in establishing annual goals and individual performance metrics.
- Offer more opportunities for learning and development, whether through offering to cover the cost of courses/conferences/seminars, or by bringing in speakers, etc.
- Invest in more mental health resources for employees.
Setting some employer new year resolutions—that emphasize supporting employees—is a great way to set your organization up for success in 2022 and beyond.