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‘Anti-resolutions’ are a novel way to encourage employee engagement
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Want some New Year’s resolutions your workers can live
Try urging them to eat more, ditch the gym and work less.
That’s one workplace expert’s creative approach to
inspiring employees in 2015. Brad Karsh is the president of JB Training Solutions
and the co-author of Manager 3.0: A
Millennial's Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management (AMACOM, 2013).
Karsh calls his seven guidelines for 2015
“anti-resolutions.” They include:
1. Eat more. Encourage workers to schedule
one lunch, dinner or coffee meeting each week with a team member to build
strong relationships. Only 35 percent of professionals feel a sense of
community at work, which can have negative effects on retention and quality of
work, according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the
American Workplace report.
2. Drink more. Urge
workers to go to networking events in the evenings. Meeting other professionals
in the same industry keeps employees well-connected and competitive.
3. Just say no.
Many people resolve to get more involved or volunteer at the start of the new year,
and companies often put pressure on employees to sign up for things, whether
it’s helping out at a local soup kitchen, with the annual food drive, or at company
picnics, dinners and outings. Karsh said it’s important for companies to scale
back on these requests to prevent stress. Encourage workers to choose one
organization or activity they’re passionate about and can devote their time to
“instead of juggling seven different commitments at once,” he said. Saying “no”
sometimes allows employees to focus their energy.
4. Avoid the gym.
Team sports—such as an indoor soccer league—can build closer bonds than walking
solo on a gym treadmill. “When you’re playing on a team, you and your teammates
are all working toward a single goal—to win,” Karsh said. “You are connecting,
communicating and collaborating. The skills you learn playing a team sport are
the same ones you need to work in a professional setting: planning, listening,
self-starting and giving feedback. That is not to say steaming [in a sauna] won’t
help build relationships as well, but realistically, who wants to sit in the
sauna next to their boss?”
5. Blow your
budget. Urge workers to invest in their careers. Maybe that means enrolling
them in professional development classes. Karsh suggested looking at Dabble, a new website
that offers suggestions on such courses.
6. Stay out
of touch. Workers can spend hours “connecting” with colleagues by e-mail
or through social media, Karsh said. This year, he suggested, encourage
employees to avoid spending so much time connecting over a computer and
instead, to pick up the phone or meet with colleagues face-to-face.
7. Work less. Encourage
workers to take advantage of all their vacation time. It
will make them more aware and motivated when they are working, Karsh
said. Only 37 percent of professionals feel they are able to balance
home and work life, according to Gallup’s report on the State of the American
Wilkie is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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