A new chapter: How leaders can support their teams to ensure New Year’s intentions and goals become habitual across the year


My last post at the beginning of the year was all about setting goals for the year ahead, and much further into the future, but I wonder how many of us feel that now in the second week of February our motivation to do things differently has already waned?

The workload is steadily increasing and old habits begin to creep back in. Working late and constantly being connected to our emails can so often mean that even with the best intentions, we struggle with personal goals to meet friends more, try new things go to the gym or eat healthily.

At the heart of it, goal setting is all about us wanting to do a good job and be the best we can be – and achieving our personal goals has a huge impact on our work life. The only way we can really achieve this is by supporting each other as a community or work family as we strive for personal success, ultimately leading to increased productivity and success as an organisation.

So, as leaders what can we do to support team members with achieving their 2018 goals?

1.        Research tells us, successful people are fit and healthy.  Encourage and support employees who want to train for a marathon, do yoga at lunchtime or have started a new diet. Applaud them for doing so and discourage the ‘working through lunch’ mentality.

2.        We can’t work all of the time; to truly be our best selves our brains need regular breaks. Research tells us to work in ‘sprints’ of 90 minutes’ and then take a rest. Don’t go straight into another meeting, sprint or complete emails. When setting up projects, encourage teams to build in regular rest or break periods so that workloads become realistic and people are suitably recharged to give their best ready for the next challenge.

3.        We all want to improve, however growth and development does’t always mean a new training module or exam. Think laterally about how people can be developed based on their interests or skills. It could be by getting involved in a different project that challenges or makes us step outside our comfort zone, or perhaps building a new network of people. As a leader, if your default is to ask a certain individual to do tasks in a particular area, choose somebody different to who you would have asked before.

4.       Change breeds creativity and alternative thinking. Change the structure of your regular team meetings - to signal a change. Alternate the chair within the team, you will get a different style and perspective from the meeting which will lead to different ways of working and different solutions to challenges. You may want to start your first one with sharing your individual goals?

   5     And most importantly, be human. Listen to what your individual team members want to achieve and build this into the team goals where you can. When everyone can see their individual priorities are being recognised the team will be more positive and motivated and driven as a team to achieving success.

And to follow my own advice and share my own goals for 2018, this month I say goodbye to my own work family at BBC Worldwide and join my new work family at ClearScore as their Chief People Officer. Here I aim to continue to do my best work and to develop myself and the team by learning and growing from a completely different industry.