The start of a new year is the perfect time to set goals and establish new habits. For teams, this can be especially helpful in fostering collaboration and setting everyone up for success throughout the year.
As we approach 2023, now is the time to think about what resolutions your team should make in order to move forward together. From building high performance teams to improving accountability and vulnerability, these 10 New Year's Resolutions will help you create a strong foundation for your team’s growth over the next 12 months.
I'll also share my biggest tip for team leaders on how to ensure that these resolutions stick! It's number 10 in the list.
Before we get into the list, if you want to take your team to the next level, download and watch my 1.5 hour masterclass on team building right now:
Okay, let’s get started with 10 Effective New Year's Resolutions For Your Team (Number 10 Is My Biggest Tip For Team Leaders...)
1. Use the "What's Most Important, Right Now?" Framework
Imagine this: you're playing soccer with some friends at the park. There are no goals, no teams and no scoring. Now imagine the same game but now you have two goals set up, you're on a team, the score is 2-1 (you're losing) and there's one minute left in the game.
How much more motivated are you in the second scenario? That's the power of goals. Don't just set any goals for your team. Use Patrick Lencioni's "What's Most Important, Right Now?" framework to set a top priority for your team over the next few months or year.
2. Create a cadence of accountability
Accountability helps to ensure that goals are being met, roles and responsibilities are clear and communicated, and feedback is being shared between members in order to foster collaboration. Create a cadence of accountability by finishing every meeting with action steps from each team member and starting every meeting by reviewing last meeting's action steps.
3. Hold any difficult team members accountable
When you don't hold poor behaviour to account, your lowest performers stay. They hang around like a bad smell and attract more of the same. But the REAL issue is how your best people leave.
Great employees won't hang around in companies where poor performance is tolerated. Commit this year to go there and do whatever is necessary to confront poor behaviour and hold difficult people to account.
4. Have 'clear and early' difficult conversations
As a follow up to the previous point, commit to have difficult conversations this year when needed. Don't let things fester. Use the 'clear and early' approach.
When you have a difficult conversation, have it early on. As soon as you see a small issue, bring it up without being a jerk. And be clear in how you communicate.
Doing so will help ensure that everyone is working collaboratively and productively throughout the year, as well as reducing potential conflicts that can arise from miscommunication or misunderstandings.
5. Connect with team members as much as possible (especially if you're remote)
Team leaders underestimate the power of connection. Spending time with your team members - even just being in the same room or being on a Zoom call - builds connection.
Connection doesn't matter until something goes down. And something always goes down in every team! That's part of working with human beings and achieving goals. The more you invest in connection the easier the difficult conversations will be when the time comes.
Even the healthy goal-setting achievement conversations will be better if you're more connected with your people. Start connecting by scheduling time to be with your people.
6. Invest heavily in hiring the right people
In my opinion, most team leaders don't invest enough in HR. When everything blows up in our team because of a difficult person - or the wrong person in a role - we would spend anything to solve the problem.
Unfortunately it's never easy or simple at that point. What is easy and simple is to invest time and money early on in hiring to get the best people who fit the culture.
7. Take your team on an offsite
As we kick off 2023, it is important for teams to prioritize investing in their growth and collaboration. One great way to do this is by taking your team on an offsite. This can provide a unique and memorable way for team members to connect with one another, as well as allowing them to gain new perspectives and insights that you just don't get in the office.
Schedule an offsite with your team. If you've never done it before, start with one day somewhere offsite. It doesn't need to be fancy, it doesn't need to be a retreat. Just get physically offsite together and have some unstructured discussion about high-level issues like people, strategy and goals.
If you already have an offsite scheduled, then consider increasing the frequency of your offsites. I think every team should consider some sort of quarterly offsite. There's just no other way to take your team to the highest level. Nothing compares to an offsite.
8. Commit to own your mistakes
It is essential that teams be honest and vulnerable when discussing mistakes or shortcomings. In order to do this, team members must be able to communicate openly and without fear of judgement. Here's the bad news...
The leader is the ceiling. Your team's vulnerability will never go above your own. Use the 'leader goes first' mentality and step out this year to be more transparent and vulnerable with your team.
9. Pass off the small wins
Following from the previous point, own your mistakes this year. But also pass off the small wins to your team. Great leaders have their team members' backs. If you want your team to feel that way about you, make an effort to pass off the responsibility and reward for the wins to your team members rather than taking them for yourself.
And here's my best tip for leaders.
This is the number one thing I believe most team leaders can do to take their team to the next level.
It sounds simple, but I've just seen it often enough that I believe it completely.
10. Meet more often with your team.
Don't have more boring meetings. Don't have more ambiguous meetings. Use Patrick Lencioni's Death by Meeting framework to have four key meetings with your team. Have these often and you'll see your team skyrocket in productivity.
The daily check in alone is a gamechanger for teams. Spending 5-10 mins at the start of every day with your team sounds laborious. But when you experience the clarity in your team you'll never go back.
Are you ready to take your team to the next level in 2023?
Download and watch my 1.5 hour masterclass on team building right now: