When I first wrote this, I opened by saying “don’t hate me for reminding you of this – but 2017 is almost here”. Now I suspect you’re longing for this distraught year of Brexit, Brangelina, and Trump to be over – 2017 can’t come fast enough.
So let’s take a few minutes away from political commentary of 2016 and look instead at how we can lead positive change in 2017.
Yes, I’m talking New Year’s Resolutions.
Over the coming two months, just as sustainability drops off everyone’s agenda, new year’s resolutions will become a hot topic (and search term).
Before you groan, think about it: that’s an amazing opportunity for you and your business.
Your people are suddenly eager to turn a new leaf and do good. But sadly only 8% of people succeed in their resolutions, plunging them into a state of depressed despair by early February. They want to do good, but struggle to know how, to get started, and to stay motivated.
Companies are really well placed to help employees to achieve their New Year’s resolutions, and in doing so, they can build greater employee wellbeing, pride, and sustainability.
Three ways companies can help employees to achieve their New Year’s resolutions:
1. Giving an impetus to act
Companies can give their employees an impetus to act through an “I will if you will” type approach: “We’re doing X in 2017, why don’t you do something too?”.
Pukka Herbs recently launched a campaign on Do Nation with a similar message: “We’re walking the talk by becoming a B-Corp; why don’t you walk the talk by making a Do Nation pledge?”.
This approach helps dispel one of the more common excuses for inaction: ”why should I bother doing anything if businesses aren’t do anything themselves?”.
2. Acting within a community
Publicly sharing your personal commitments has been shown to increase chances of keeping to them. This is far more effective if it’s shared within a community you belong to – a community of people who will recognise the pledge you made, support you through it, and hold you to it. Workplaces are ideal for this.
Not only that, but by taking action as part of a community, it’s easier to see the collective impact you are having. This can be incredibly motivating.
When Lee at Arup saw his pledge to do Smart Drive would save him 162 kgCO2, that felt good, but pretty inconsequential on the global scale. But it was a tangible contribution towards his team’s savings of 8,995 kgCO2 – and that in turn to the office’s overall saving of 84,864 kgCO2 – or as much as 189 flights from London to New York. Suddenly, he was part of something far bigger, having an impact that felt significant.
3. Making people accountable
Asking employees to to report back on their actions increases the likelihood of them following through with it, while also allowing for companies to report on the collective impact. This element of accountability is second nature to businesses, and with the right tools it’s easy for them to build in.
Do Nation and New Year’s resolutions
It won’t come as any surprise – but we think Do Nation is the perfect platform to help you gather and measure your New Year’s pledges!
Do Nation takes care of suggesting ideas and providing information – we have lots of Do Actions that are ideal for the “New Year, New Me” mentality – a few examples below. We measure the impact, send follow up reminders and advice, and check back on progress.
Join the competition
Join our New Year’s resolution leaderboard, ranking companies against each other in friendly competition, while highlighting the collective impact achieved together. The winning company will win a year’s supply of Pukka Tea!