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Ringing in a New Year is synonymous with pledging a resolution. Resolutions are often aimed at improving an individual’s well-being.

Goals to quit smoking and the proverbial diet and exercise plans top many resolution lists. Enthusiasm to reach the goal starts high, but more times than not, focus and commitment wanes, with the undesirable habits returning, leaving participants discouraged.

So you may ask, how do resolutions apply to business? In simple terms, businesses and their managers can set their own resolutions. Simply committing to change, one or two things in how they operate their business, aimed at meeting specific business objectives.

One resolution may be focused on improving the workplace culture. Advancing a positive workplace can start with the manager leading by example. Demonstrating actions towards reducing negativity and limiting meddling, which contribute to a loss of trust and support within the workforce, is a manageable first step. It’s often stated that it takes three positive comments to offset a single negative comment. Efforts to create a positive work environment lead to an engaged workforce, which contributes to higher job satisfaction, reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.

Another tangible resolution may be tailored to supporting our own. As businesses we recognize the value of residents supporting local establishments. Businesses, in among themselves, are large consumers of good and services. Their purchasing decisions can have a tremendous impact on the local economy. Resolving towards purchasing a greater portion of products and services locally will help support the sustainability of local business. This in return, will support the retention and attraction of staff, the creation of employment and provide donor supports for the social, cultural, educational and recreational needs of the area.

These small yet progressive actions can be very rewarding to business. Silently, the business will become an employer of choice, providing access to a larger labour pool and opportunities to attract the brightest talent. Efforts towards positive actions further demonstrate the values of the business. Consumers are more aligned to trust a business with shared values and a perception of transparency. Seeing their consumptive dollars being reinvested in the community, rather than funding programs of an external or foreign entity, provides an element of respect and fulfillment.

Andrew Lake is President of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce. He is Project Manager with Will-Kare Paving and Contracting.