It’s nearly impossible not to love this time of year… the holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, to express gratitude for the many wonderful people in your life, to toast those you miss or may have lost, and, of course, to gain ten pounds.
Then, after countless holiday parties, Christmas – or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever you may celebrate – rolls around. It’s once again a time for family to come together, a time for giving, and a time for reflection. The biggest smiles of the year abound.
New Year’s zips past and – WHAM! – January hits. The days are short, and the nights are long. For those of us in the north, it’s freezing cold; it’s snowy; it’s dreary. The 31 days in January seem to last three times as long as the 31 days in July. Ah, but there are your New Year’s resolutions to help you get through this brutal month!
In this blog, we’ll see how these sentiments can relate to work. Let’s start with the most powerful theme of Thanksgiving… gratitude. Why is something so simple sometimes so difficult to incorporate into work?
There is nothing more powerful than expressing thanks to a colleague, whether it be a direct report, a boss, or simply a fellow worker. It just doesn’t happen enough and, quite often when it does happen, it can lack sincerity and substance. Ninety-nine percent of the world is incapable of faking sincere gratitude.
There are undoubtedly thoughts – conscious or subconscious – that say, “Why should I thank somebody for doing the job I pay them to do? They should thank me for the fact that they have the job.” That’s a mindset which requires adjustment.
One simple piece of advice to raise your gratitude game: consciously focus on it. Put it on your weekly to do list. After a period of time, it will become natural and instinctual. Employees will feel appreciated and noticed. They’ll feel their work is more meaningful. They’ll model that behavior and soon there is a marked impact on culture and job satisfaction across the company.
Now, importantly, words matter and delivery matters. The difference between “nice job” and “That was truly fantastic work. You should be proud. Thank you!” is degrees of magnitude.
For me, I am truly grateful to my wife for having the courage and the entrepreneurial spirit to start a business. Whether I’m eternally grateful remains to be seen…
Moving into 2023, let’s discuss resolutions! In early January, the gyms will be packed, cigarette sales will plummet, and folks will be drinking soda without the scotch. New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on personal life vs. work life. Why not have some work resolutions too? In fact, departments and entire companies can have resolutions.
This isn’t puffery. The Great Resignation (which we are so weary of hearing about) couldn’t be more real. Consider this graph from SHRM (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics):
These trends have continued into 2022 as every month through September has had more than 4 million “quits”. This is literally more than double the levels from a mere decade ago. The world of work has radically changed.
The question is: what are you doing about it? How are you responding and adapting? Perhaps your company can create some New Year’s Resolutions to contend with this new radical world of work. Some examples could be:
- Take more calculated risks
- Increase the number of hours of community service
- Extend our brand reach
- Increase our Net Promoter Score
Since you’re resolving to do it… do it! Of course, the resolutions should be quantified, and you should track them and shine a flashlight on them (which shines beyond the month of January).
And finally, my own New Year’s Resolutions:
- Somehow, someway regain the 20 yards I have lost off the tee
- Express sincere gratitude much more frequently (a good one for everyone)
Happy holidays and thank you for your interest in our Elevated Thinking blog!