Don’t Go Bananas: How To Set Workplace Resolutions That Stick

Jan 26, 2016

Don’t Go Bananas

As we revealed in last week's blog, 2016 is the year of the monkey (per the Chinese zodiac calendar). While this many conjure up images of silliness and practical jokes, the office is no place for "monkey business" … unless you work at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (as featured in the television show The Office) or the dysfunctional Initech Corporation in the movie Office Space.

Assuming your job is not part of a fictional television show or movie, doing good work and meeting deadlines is important—even a monkey wants to get better at climbing trees and hunting food! However, it's often necessary to take a step back and assess the situation in order to determine your next move. The beginning of each year is an ideal time to set resolutions for personal growth and professional development:

  • Define What Is Important: It's easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and move from one project to the next, but losing sight of the big picture can keep you from reaching your departmental or organizational goals. The best way to decide a goal is to determine first what you find truly important: What are you doing at your job? Where are you going with it? What do you want to accomplish this year? In addition, make it a priority to find out your organization's business goals for the year and discuss with your manager specific ways you can contribute to the bottom line.
  • Develop Strengths and Expertise: By defining what is important in your job, you can develop skills necessary to become even better at it. For example, take courses at a community college or online or read books on your field in your spare time. Identify what your work is about so you can figure out how you can improve; strengthening your weak points while shoring up your strong points is always a good idea.
  • Improve Teamwork: Communication is more important than ever now, especially face-to-face, as managers have become more hands-off or communicate via e-mail, leaving tasks to those to whom they delegate. Often you will find yourself with a group of people, some vague instructions, and the understanding that you are to "get it done." Getting to know the members of your team, on both a professional and a personal level, will increase productivity and make for a more pleasant workday!
  • Manage Stress: One of the biggest problems in the workplace is stress. It's healthy (and motivating) in small doses, especially for those who work best under pressure, but can be deadly to a work environment if it runs rampant. Although you can't solve everyone's problems, you can be a beacon of calm in your workplace by staying relaxed, taking plenty of breaks, and never forgetting to put everything in perspective.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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