anuary is a month riddled with high expectations. It’s the busiest time for gyms, the highest number of holidays are booked during January, it’s when most diets start – there’s even a so-called ‘Divorce Monday’. Dire.
‘Starting anew’ has become synonymous with January, and it’s not always the positive determination that many people assume it is. When the hype of the holiday season falls flat, New Year’s Eve doesn’t live up to expectations, and that pressure for something ‘great’ to happen this year boils over the surface, your workplace culture can really suffer.
It’s easy to put internal culture on the backburner, particularly in the first throes of Q1 when department heads are driven by revenue, product launches, sales, and growth. But your culture – and the effects of a negative one – can seriously impact every other goal.
That, combined with one or two individuals feeling blue, disconnected or frustrated, and a toxic work environment can quickly stir up.
So if you’re going to make one resolution this year, make January the time to focus on your workforce. Demonstrating you care for and are invested in your employees will go a thousand miles towards cultivating a healthy workplace culture, and ultimately help boost retention, morale, and fulfilment.
Here are a few simple steps to make it a success.
5 steps to boost your workplace culture
Focus on the now.
Planning a team day at the races in June is all very well and good, but for individual employees, staring at blank months ahead without anything to look forward to isn’t particularly motivating. Incentivising your workforce with short- and long-term company events (that are actually fun!) will keep momentum, and get you through the January slump.
Develop – and encourage – goals.
If your business conducts reviews in January, now’s the time to take individuals’ goals seriously. Most people will return to work in the new year with personal and professional goals. Offering tangible support towards career development is a cornerstone to a healthy workplace culture, and one that your talent will value long-term.
Coach your senior teams.
Ever heard of that phrase, ‘people leave managers, not companies’? Poor management can be just as detrimental as a toxic employee, and have long-lasting effects on your culture. Training senior teams will support talent retention and development strategies, and encourage a stronger network within your workforce.
Embrace the employee nomad.
The way we work has changed drastically these past few years – particularly where we work. If you notice your staff browsing sunnier, warmer climates in their downtime, offering ‘workcations’ could be the future-thinking solution. Or, if you have offices in sunny corners of the world, now’s the time to open their doors to your UK folks.
Boost your internal communications.
Connection and fulfilment are intrinsic to healthy workplace cultures – and internal communication can be a huge factor in getting you there. Keep teams in the know, particularly with business opportunities and personal messages. It’ll help you build buy-in for your company’s vision, productivity and mutual respect.
Start as you mean to go on
For many of us, January feels like prime time to refresh, reset and resolve to make big changes. But just because it’s a new year, doesn’t mean everything – or even anything – has to change.
For professionals, the itch for something new and exciting shouldn’t cause you to ditch all the hard work you’ve put into your role now, and all the potential it could hold for you this year.
For business leaders, failing to prioritise your people and culture will only lead to poor views of your company, loss of productivity, and even loss of talent.
Made more challenging because of today’s hybrid working structure, there’s never been a more crucial time to invest in your people, and your workplace culture. It’s the foundation for a stronger workforce, with greater outcomes.
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