Sometimes it is good to notice the natural rhythms in our lives. The way we feel and what we do changes with the seasons: we all like to spend time outdoors in the summer, just like we think about chocolate around Easter time and look for the emergence of spring bulbs in March. For most of us the big seasonal event of the year is Christmas and the move into the New Year. Christmas comes alongside the natural winter solstice celebrations that exists in many cultures, and the New Year is a time when all of us think of making changes and setting goals for the year.
These natural rhythms are not something to be resisted because mankind has worked with the seasons for millennia and it gives us a chance to focus on different aspects of our lives. It is much better to embrace them and enjoy each season as it passes.
And like mankind these rhythms are also reality for business. Within any business, a plan is made for the coming year and goals and expectations are shared and delegated throughout the whole organisation, as a measure to keep them accountable throughout the year ahead.
So it is interesting that an Impellus survey of over 2,000 managers in 2015 found that management training was 16.3% more effective if taken in January than at other times of the year. Well perhaps it is surprising at first glance, but then you can see that it will fit with the natural cycle of our lives where we take time out to think over Christmas and return in the dark days of January with a desire to do things better.
It is important with New Year’s resolutions, as with any goal setting exercise, to make them realistic and achievable. We all fall for setting unrealistic goals in our personal lives occasionally, but if there are things that needs to be improved at work the New Year is a good time to reflect on that and resolve to do better.
But – here’s the rub – “doing better” for managers often involves subtle changes of behaviour and habits. It is difficult to identify what’s necessary on your own, let alone achieve making the changes without support and guidance. So it turns out that January is a great time to dial into management training when we are all looking for a fresh start and are receptive to learning from the professionals.
Then, when we are given a solid structure to work with, we can remain inspired and motivated to achieve those management goals for 2016, making the changes we want to make and improving the workplace for our staff.