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Reflect on 2012 to Create a Stronger 2013

By Gina Fedeli (799 words)
Posted in Leadership & Teambuilding on December 12, 2012

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By Gina Fedeli, President GCF Consulting, Inc.

With the end of the year approaching, it’s an ideal time to review 2012’s accomplishments and to plan for 2013. It’s a chance to celebrate achievements and to reinforce the behavior that made them possible.  It’s also an opportunity to evaluate the year’s mistakes so that they can be avoided in the future.


In addition to developing high-level business goals for 2013, assess the company’s mission and culture. Share lessons learned and targeted improvements in company-wide events, staff meetings and one-on-ones.  Consistent communication will help employees understand your expectations and build a more cohesive team.


Review 2012 and Envision 2013 

First, meet with team leaders to review accomplishments and challenges, understand how employees feel about the company and assess the “state of the culture.”  As you “deconstruct” the year’s activities, reflect on whether you’re rewarding the right individual and collective conduct.  Which behaviors proved successful during 2012 and which will best support the goals for 2013?


Review your company’s mission statement.  Did you achieve your mission?  Articulate the actions that took place that aliened with the mission.  Does the mission represent the activities that must take place in 2013 or should it be adjusted based on changing dynamics? Now is the time to modify your planning and companywide message.  A new year is a new start and your employee’s are looking to you for direction.  Unlike mid-year changes, this time of year people are open to establishing new goals with a positive mindset.


Once your team leaders have converged on a list of accomplishments, top contributors and traits they want to cultivate, schedule a “town meeting,” to include all employees. During this fourth quarter, “all hands” event, emphasize how the organization’s culture is intended to create an environment that’s compatible with the company’s mission and conducive to achieving its business objectives.  Recap 2012 performance, then present mission and actionable goals for the upcoming year:

  • Review the company’s 2012 financial achievements and client objectives.  Discuss high-level goals for 2013.
  • How did individual teams perform against their goals?
  • If formal goals were not set for 2012, convey the importance of establishing them for 2013.

These topics will encourage conversation and lay the groundwork for the upcoming year.


Celebrate 2012 Successes

Remember that it’s important to praise top performers in public -- and in private.  In one-on-ones, managers need to emphasize and reinforce the individual strengths and conduct that led to success. Consider recognizing outstanding contributions with awards that employees will value, which will remind them of their accomplishments and build camaraderie.


Be creative and select items that reflect your company’s culture.  One of our clients presented jackets embroidered with the company logo to their high-achieving teams.  Another planned a company outing during which top performers received trophies and an Amazon.com gift card. Still another gave iPads engraved with the company name in recognition of outstanding work.   


Set the stage for success in the coming year. Remember, your mission and 2013 business goals should be aligned and clearly defined. Let employees know what’s expected of them and reinforce that message throughout the next 12 months. Planning today will fuel greater accomplishments in the new year. 


Here are some fundamentals for developing your 2013 mission/business goals:

Where is your company at the end of 2012 and where do you want it to end up at the end of 2013?  In other words, try to articulate the change you anticipate in any of the following areas:

            Customer Mix

            Geographical Reach

            Market & Product/Service Mix

            Investments & Major Projects

            Technology Changes & Implementations

            Profitability (price & cost structures)

            Corporate Culture Transitions

            Company Initiatives (i.e.: continuous improvement)


What other mission initiatives will drive your company in 2013?


What does your company do to start the year off energized and engaged?  Will you be starting any new traditions this year?


Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013—happy holidays!


Written by Gina Fedeli,
Project Management Expert for ManagingAmericans.com & President, GCG Consulting, Inc.


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