Have you felt it yet?
The 2021 jitters? For some of you it may be a slight sense of unease at the back of your mind. For others, it may be more like a blaring alarm. It typically occurs at the start of the year as a result of the (unresolved) hangover of the previous year. And what a hangover 2020 delivered!!
As the working year starts back and the Christmas/New Year’s holidays become more like a faded memory, more and more people are wondering just what 2021 will bring. Some of you may be energised with a set of New Year’s resolutions, while others may just be hoping that 2021 is better (or at least different).
2021 can be better, but only if we take some deliberate steps to make it so.
The time to start is now
Most of us bring some fresh, hopeful energy into the new year. We are refreshed after a break from work and (despite the negative media we are bombarded with) are somewhat optimistic for our future. Returning to work brings additional good energy in the form of reconnecting with friends and colleagues.
Typically however, something starts to change from about 2 to 4 weeks in. Workload increases and some of the same team dynamics and office politics start to arise again. We start to remember what things were like towards the end of 2020 (feeling tired, frustrated, helpless, worn out); and ask ourselves “do I really want to go through that again?”.
So start now, while the energy is positive and implement the following ideas:
As an Individual
Your thinking – your feeling – your behaviour. These are the things that you have the most ability to influence and control. Use this power wisely. Set aside some time when you are in a good frame of mind and consider these:
- Check in with yourself – how are you feeling/what are you thinking about connecting with 2021?
- What attitudes, strategies and skills will help me make the most of 2021?
- What do I need to let go of (what held me back from being the person I wanted to be in 2020)?
As a Team
Emotions are contagious. It only takes a few people with a ‘negative attitude’ to infect the whole team In 20220, did people in our team give each other the benefit of the doubt or were we quick to judge and gossip? Did we review how we were going as a team or just grind through the task list? Try instead checking in with each other – how is everyone going?
- What are the team behaviours we were unhappy with (that impacted our satisfaction and wellbeing) last year – what should we stop doing?
- What are the team behaviours that really helped last year – what should we continue doing
- What are some new team behaviours that we could try that would really contribute to our wellbeing – what should we start doing?
As an Organisation
Creating desired behavioural change takes time. Our strategy, our values and the messaging (direct and indirect) and behaviours from our leaders set the tone. The systems and processes we have in place reinforce what is expected and needs to be done. Utilise the existing mechanisms inside your organisation and
- Check in with your people (either through brief pulse checks, or leaders simply verbally checking in with their people) – what is the prevailing mood?
- Consider your wellbeing strategy (beyond just EAP and a good Covid response plan)
- Engage with your people about how they can be involved in creating the desired culture for 2021