Leadership   //   December 23, 2022

Investing in relationships – the top New Year’s resolution for employees

It hasn’t been the most cheerful end to 2022. The year has closed out with tech layoffs, ongoing economic disruptions, and continued talks of a recession amid rising inflation. But this only cements how important it is for employees to make some smart New Year resolutions to ensure 2023 starts off strong.

We asked WorkLife readers to send in their resolutions for the new year. For some, that means better communication with their employers, for others, it’s hitting more hard goals like driving more leads, and for most, it’s focusing on building relationships. Here’s what else senior leaders are setting out to do in 2023:

Relationships investment

“I am looking to step out of my comfort zone and network more with external partners and internal colleagues across seniority levels in the new year, particularly female leaders. I want to be able to build meaningful connections and learn from powerful women in the industry.” – Shayanna Roman, manager of brand marketing at media and advertising firm Omnicom Media Group.

“Of course we all need to invest in skills and well-being, but it’s relationships that get us through the good and the bad times. Reaching out and/or responding to requests to meet others, both inside and outside the company, is what more workplaces need in 2023. Investing in relationships, however busy or anxious you might be, is my best advice to myself and others.” – Bhushan Sethi, joint global leader of people and organization at managing consultancy PwC.

“In 2023 I plan to spontaneously call five random employees each month all around the world and in various levels and roles to hear about their experiences. Since these will be surprise calls, there will be no agenda. Instead ‘dialing employees’ is a way to hear different perspectives on how we’re doing as a company, thank employees personally, and reiterate that the executives are listening and taking feedback. I also plan to share at least one thing about me that’s personal and/or surprising in each call. I believe with all my heart about the power of authentic and vulnerable leadership. By opening up as a leader, we can build an even stronger foundation of trust and show our people it’s okay to be human at work.” Pat Wadors, chief people officer at software firm UKG.

“As we embark on a new year, I’ve been speaking with our customer community about their top priority: their people. It’s clear that in our ever-changing world, employees want to feel a connection to their work – perhaps more than ever before. As I focus on 2023, fostering purpose-driven work remains top of mind for me, and many of our customers.” – Leagh Turner, co-CEO of software firm Ceridian.


“I’ve spent a fair amount of time – 25% of my workday – this year trying to drive high-intent leads to our pipeline, on top of other work matters I’m assigned to. None of those leads have turned into deals just yet. I hope in 2023 finally to see the payoff of all of that activity.” – Danny Groner, director of growth PR at Forecast Labs.

“Stay closer to customer needs and be willing to pivot quickly as the changing economic environment impacts customer priorities.” – Chris Savage, CEO and founder of video marketing platform provider Wistia.

Hybrid work

“My new year’s work resolution is to invest more in manager effectiveness. Especially for today’s workforce, human-centric leaders who value open communication, empathy, and genuineness have never been more important. I’ll be ensuring that my company’s leadership development curriculum is relevant to leading hybrid or remote teams, as well as revisiting how that curriculum is being shared with managers, such as asynchronously.” – Jim Bartolomea, svp of people and places at productivity platform ClickUp.

“I’ve been speaking to a lot of execs lately and I’m hearing that they want to build stronger connections with people in the new year. For me next year will be about staying close to our customers and their top concerns like return-to-office and continuing to advocate and demonstrate that the physical office can be a worthy place for people to connect, work, and have fun.” – Larry Gadea, founder and CEO at flexible workplace platform Envoy.

“Be together with colleagues. I can be productive at home, but when it comes to bonding and getting complex stuff done, there’s just no substitute for being in-person. I’m committed to traveling more and making regular plans to be with my teams next year.” – Liz Simon, COO of coworking space provider Industrious.

Growth and development

“I’d like to be better at respecting my time and be more focused as I get easily distracted. Also, to make more time to step away for development as opposed to getting sucked into the day-to-day.” – Laura Jiménez, business development manager at logistics firm Firstpoint Logistics.

“My resolution for 2023 is to start building a professional community by regularly sharing work-related successes, learnings, and tips. My key takeaway from this year is that I enjoy sharing knowledge as it benefits both other people and myself. But my efforts lack consistency, so my focus for the upcoming year is to transform knowledge-sharing into a habit. I plan to keep track of my professional insights that may turn beneficial to others, come up with regular posts for socials, and always be open to media opportunities.” – Olga Shapovalova, strategic management expert, B2B and partnerships director at Headway EdTech startup.

“I’ll strive to build in more focus time to think and explore new ideas that buck conventional wisdom. I’ll allow myself to take greater chances and accept the hits and misses as they come. Cultivating this spirit of experimentation is easier said than done, but the path less traveled often leads to the greatest reward. That’s the goal!” – Zach Kitschke, CMO of graphic design company Canva.

“I am a culture manager and just began at a new company. I tend to take on too many projects because I just know that they will all have a positive impact, but then I enter a cycle of burnout, feeling underappreciated, wanting to leave for a new job, and then getting excited about a new project, and the cycle continues.” – Angelica Frustaci, culture and talent development manager at marketing services and supply chain management firm QPSI.

“My goal is to differentiate and de-silo myself by focusing as exclusively as I can on me, my values, my growth and my needs, in an effort to become more efficient, more successful and, most importantly, more happy!“ – Rick Sanchez, CEO of podcast network Agua Media. 

“Like many remote workers, I relocated during the pandemic to improve my quality of life. This year’s resolution is to get involved in my new community and put down roots. Working from anywhere doesn’t mean you need to travel the world, sometimes it means finding a new home and building a new life.” – Jessica “JJ” Reeder, director of remote organizational effectiveness at freelancing platform Upwork.

“Support long-term growth by hiring and acquiring people and companies that amplify our culture and value.” – Randall Ward, CEO of business app provider Appfire.

“This year, I will set up specific times not only dedicated to when I am available for meetings, but also 10 minute blocks of time to get admin done before the end of day. When these little things are taken care of, it will help me mitigate the risk of allowing my mind to wander to what else I have to do that day when I’m in meetings or working on other tasks.” – Aye Moah, CEO and Co-founder of productivity software provider Boomerang.

Fewer meetings

“In 2023, one workplace resolution is to have less meetings and more meaningful collaboration. A big focus will be on asynchronous work in an effort to cut down on an ever-increasing number of meetings. This is a real opportunity to bring diverse voices, collaboration styles, experiences and locations together to achieve quality outcomes.” – Jessica Guistolise, evangelist at visual collaboration workplace tech provider Lucid Software.

“My New Year’s resolution is to re-evaluate my calendar and re-evaluate how to best spend my time and the time I ask for from others. I like to think of it as my ‘annual calendar purge’. Now, of course this doesn’t mean I’m going to jettison my staff meeting, instead, I ask questions like is it the right length, do we discuss the right topics, and is it the right format? I also like to look at larger group meetings, like our weekly All-Hands meeting that we started back in 2020 and ask the team if it is on the right day/time and if it’s the right format. Finally, I will look at legacy recurring meetings and determine if they are still necessary today. I expect to come out with an efficiency gain on how I manage the company and how we spend our time overall.” – Frank Weishaupt, CEO of video conference provider Owl Labs.

“I’m trying to be in fewer meetings and free up more time in my week for getting work done. I’m going to rely more on voice notes and phone calls because sometimes there’s no substitute for explaining something verbally.” – Liz Simon, COO of coworking space provider Industrious.

“Throw away unnecessary team meetings and processes to create more space for what matters.” –  Mark Cruth, a modern work designer at software firm Atlassian.