You could wake up on the morning of October 27, 2018, and decide to change your life. In fact, you could also do so on February 2, April 18, or August 9. So why is it that of all the days in the year, January 1 is the day that many of us choose to start afresh?
Though it logically makes no sense to value this day over others, after year-upon-year of yelling “Happy New Year!” and meticulously charting out New Year’s resolutions, society has conditioned us to think of the New Year as a clean slate — a time to reflect, reprioritise, and reinvent. And I happen to think it’s a great time to do so for your company too.
As we all know, introducing change in companies both big and small can often create jitters and uncertainty among employees as they begin to wrestle with questions like “How will it affect my role?” “Will my team members remain the same?” or “Will the company continue to invest time and money in my division?”
It takes a lot of effort from company leadership to address these worries and make employees feel secure. Hence, I believe the best time to introduce change is when employees are ready to embrace change and are excited about it. And there is no better time for it than the new year!
If your employees are already making changes to their daily habits and schedules, for example, waking up earlier to exercise, saying no to that extra piece of mithai, or making time before bed to read a book, they have a much more flexible mindset and are more likely to be open to other changes too. The new year brings a new energy and ‘can-do’ attitude which can get everyone excited about new goals.
At The Wedding Brigade, many of our employees have set personal new year goals that range from losing weight to improving at a sport to spending more time with their siblings. As they think of ways in which they want to better themselves as people, it’s a wonderful time to also reflect on ways in which to better themselves as professionals.
So, in our first team meeting of the year, we all spent time writing down a professional goal that tied into our broader team goals and company’s mission. Everyone also paired up with a buddy from their team who would check in on their progress. This is extremely important — research by the Association for Talent Development has found that your chances of achieving a goal increase by 65 percent if you commit to someone.
Not only is setting individual professional goals a great opportunity for all of us to better a skill or learn about a new strategy or vertical but it is great for the company too, ensuring everyone is aligned with the broader mission and getting more knowledgeable and efficient in their roles.
Whether you follow the calendar year (January–December) or the Indian financial year (April–March), January and February are often when companies plan out the next 12–15 months: charting their expansion plans, deciding how much to allocate to each vertical, pinpointing what new strategies to invest in, and setting performance expectations (revenue, number of users, cost of acquisition, etc.)
It is much more difficult to introduce a big change once the budget and strategy are set, as it involves moving talent and resources from existing departments to new ones. The time it takes to reallocate these resources will not only eat into the time you have set to execute new strategies but can also cause older verticals and projects to suffer with the confusion it brings.
By thinking clearly about the changes you want to implement throughout the year in January/February, you can make sure you have the time, talent, and budget to make them happen.
Though there is never a wrong time for change, some months just make it easier!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)