Every year when December 31 rolls over into January 1, resolutions for the new year begin popping up on social media and in conversations around the water cooler. People vow to lose weight, to do more volunteer work, to do scores of things to improve their lives and their communities. And while we wish the resolute masses all the luck in the world, this year, we’re looking at the workplace (and our readers) not in terms of resolutions– but in terms of priorities. They might be the same things that were important to your business and your workplace over the past year; they might be completely different. In most cases, I bet it’s a healthy mix of both. Here are just a few of the things we see emerging as top priorities for businesses in the new year… what does your list look like?
Employee engagement – Over the past several years, employee engagement has been a top priority for businesses, and it’s only getting more important. Understanding what drives and satisfies employees, as well as what inspires loyalty from those employees, has come to the forefront as companies seek to recruit and retain top talent. Our second annual Workplace Index tackled some of the tough questions in employee engagement and the workplace, from productivity and loyalty drivers to office perks and pitfalls. What we found was that workers are happy, but feeling burned out and overworked. As always, boosting productivity by encouraging regular breaks is important in our always-on world, but there were a lot of other great insights into today’s workforce, and we’re looking forward to learning more this year.
Workplace wellness – This is a complicated topic, and goes well beyond the usual sniffles and sneezes that crop up during this time of year (though those are important, too!) Hand-in-hand with employee engagement, workplace wellness will continue to be a key concern for many businesses, encompassing not only illness prevention and physical wellness, but also workplace happiness, mental and psychological well-being, sustainability, safety, ergonomics and more. Employees who are happy, healthy and safe are not only more productive, but also save companies money. Investing in employees up-front is yielding big benefits for companies already, and more organizations are considering the impact their employees have on their business.
Smarter partnerships – It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child, and the same can be said of a successful business. Beyond the leadership and employees of a business, there are many others who help the business succeed: customers, vendors, industry experts, professional organizations and other important partners help keep your business running smoothly and successfully. In the coming year, recognizing and maximizing the value of those partnerships will be crucial. Be sure to thank your customers and ask them for their feedback frequently– make sure they know they have a voice in your company! And get the most out of your vendor partnerships by asking the right questions and expecting a true, collaborative relationship from them. This can save time and money as well as providing exciting insight into your business.
So what’s on your list to keep top of mind for the new year?