How to make your New Year’s plans fly (and ensure they’re not dead in the water by next week!)

2020 is upon us and plans for the year are afoot. We consider how you really engage your team and convince them that this is an opportunity to make an actual change?

It’s the time of year when people have made, and communicated, their plans for the New Year. As last year it’s about generating more income, winning more customers, putting more effort in, and ‘exciting’ new initiatives that will make all the difference.

Blah Blah – you can probably find the email/memo/PowerPoint presentation from last year that says pretty much the same thing.

Strangely, not everyone is enthused. Some people are suggesting we’ve been here before… and the expected impetus from our morale-boosting, new-decade, kick-off isn’t happening.

So how do you engage the team and convince them that this is an opportunity to make an actual change?

  1. Well, first of all there’s a need to believe it yourself. Don’t go through the motions but really think about the year ahead and identify what can be done to make a genuine difference.
  2. Then engage with your team effectively – and this doesn’t just mean sitting them in a room and lecturing them for an hour whilst reading out the slides on the big screen. Get them engaged in a discussion, include team building activities, and make the sessions fun, inspiring and memorable.
  3. Ensure your leaders ‘walk the talk’. I have lost count of the number of times after a kick-off I have heard individual leaders undermine the plan. Get your leadership team engaged initially and ensure they buy-in to the plan.
  4. Remember to communicate progress, but in an authentic way. People see through smoke and mirrors so report what is happening (good and bad) in a way that is real and continue to engage your team. After all, you’re asking them to deliver it, so they need to feel that they’re part of it.
  5. If you are going to do a kick-off for the new year (calendar or financial) then put the effort in to do it right… otherwise at best it’s a waste of time and money. At worst it disengages your team even more.

Wouldn’t it be great to know that your team look forward to the start of the year, feeling excited, engaged, and that their ideas and observations from the preceding cycle have been taken on-board for this one.

Happy New Year, everyone?....Well! That’s up to you.


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