We hear people say it every January without fail, “new year, new me!” Coupled with outlandish goals and promises of forming new healthy habits. But we’re all well aware of how quickly these goals are abandoned as people slip back into their old ways of being.

It’s such a shame that life and work get in the way of our true desire to self-improve. In fact, it’s rare to encounter people who don’t want to change their lives for the better in one way or another. And what if I told you, you could facilitate this change for the better? 

You want a happy, healthy, thriving team. You would love to have a team all working together towards the common goal. You want your team to feel motivated and lead them in their efforts. Unfortunately, despite your good intentions, this can be where things all fall down. 

What many leaders fail to realise is that their team of individuals are just that – individuals. Each with their own goals in life, their own happiness milestones, and their own versions of what success looks like. It’s not one size fits all. Trying to cajole your team into being happier and more motivated simply won’t cut the mustard and is likely to lead to frustration, resentment, and possibly burnout all round, yourself included. So, what can you do?

1. Start from a place of gratitude

The problem with ‘improvement’ is that it implies something isn’t good enough already. There will be things your team are already great at, so begin with those things. Take into consideration their cores values and beliefs. Acknowledging your teams’ consistent strengths will validate and elevate them, and a sincere ‘thank you’ never goes amiss.

2. Set clear intentions

Goal setting is all well and good, but when a goal feels so far out of reach, it becomes a lot more difficult to achieve. Setting specific intentions, however, can ensure that goal is met easily and without friction. ‘Today I will exercise’ is a lot simpler to achieve than ‘lose 2 stone by Summer’. If you need a tip, remember that goals are future-based, intentions are set in the present. 

3. Reverse engineer long-term goals

If you want to achieve a certain goal within a certain timeframe, set that goal then look at the key milestones along the way and set those as sub-goals. Then break that down again into more sub-goals. Before long, you have a list of to-do tasks which is much easier to manage and achieve.

4. Celebrate milestones

You don’t have to lavish gifts upon your team to show how much you appreciate them, but an acknowledgement and gratitude can go a long way in keeping your teams’ momentum flowing. It could be something simple like getting a round of coffee in, but whatever you do make sure you team knows you value their efforts.

5. Invest in your team

There’s a huge amount of research that shows people become frustrated and fed up with their jobs because they don’t have the right tools, training, or enough face time with their immediate managers. Ensure your team has the right equipment and invest in their future with fantastic interactive training. Your team is about more than their performance, but as everyone learns new skills and adjusts their mindset, the team will become more collaborative, and performance will improve. 

6. Focus on purpose and progress

As mentioned above, your team need individual face time with you. Regular reviews that reflect on the individual’s sense of purpose and focus on their progress are much more effective than those that focus on failures or ‘areas of improvement’. And remember, although an individual may not be performing as well as another member of the team does not mean they’re not contributing. How a team functions, as a whole, should always be taken into consideration. 

7. Create routine

The best way to create routine is to implement a regular schedule and stick to it. When people know what to expect, they’re less stressed and don’t feel the need to prepare for the unexpected. Look at your regular tasks and see which of those could be automated, which could be set at specific times on specific days, and which have recurring deadlines – then plan accordingly. This removes a lot of the decision making you and your team face, freeing up valuable headspace to focus on the tasks that require more thought.  

There are plenty of other ways to facilitate team bonding and I invite you to check out my bespoke programme, Purpose, Progress, Performance.

Just some of the things you’ll look forward to learning:

– The relationships between pressure, wellbeing and feeling fulfilled.

– The physiological effects of stress and how to counter them.

– What mindset really means and how to change yours to achieve your goals.

– How to manage a large workload in a high-pressure environment.

– Discover your values and beliefs and how they shape who you are and what you do.

– The importance of identifying and building on your energising strengths.

– How to communicate powerfully, influence effectively and increase your authority.

Here’s to a happy and thriving team in 2022!