A sticky subject

Will Clark County’s top executives stick to their New Year’s resolutions? Time will tell…

Lisa Pletcher
Guest Columnist
In January 2006, millions of business and community leaders will begin to implement New Year’s resolutions for their workplace and their employees. And, if they are like many of us, the odds are pretty good that by March, those resolutions will be distant memories of unfulfilled goals, as research shows that only 15 percent to 20 percent of goal setters will keep their resolutions.

According to a study by University of Washington psychologists, resolutions are a process, not onetime efforts that offer people a chance to create new habits. Even if people are successful, they need to follow through with behavior for years if it is to become permanent.

So how can you achieve your resolution for 2006 and make it last for years to come? Consider these suggestions for making your workforce resolution stick:

• Make one to two specific resolutions.

• Keep regular track of your progress by measuring your achievement.

• Choose realistic goals that you are confident you can meet.

• Overestimate the amount of time and effort it will take.

Here is a sampling of 2006 workforce resolutions of local executives:

Mike Worthy, CEO of Bank of Clark County, will be recruiting people with industry experience and the ability to develop business relationships. The bank will also be implementing a Web or computer-based training and testing program to ensure that staff has a good grasp of all the regulatory guidelines for the banking industry.

Jeff Hohman, CEO of Micropump, will work with all employees to implement "Mixed Model Value Stream," an application that will be deployed across all product lines. All employees will be trained, and expected results include an increase in lead time, on-time performance and a reduction of product defects.

Dr. R. Wayne Branch, president of Clark College, resolves that the college will create its own nutritional "pyramid" to foster a healthy diet in 2006. The college’s pyramid will have, as its base, the hopes, dreams and successes of thousands of students. The "next step" of the pyramid will be built by the accomplishments of faculty and staff – with additional layers of goodwill and humor. It all builds to the top of the pyramid, a celebration of the role the college plays in the region’s economic, cultural and social development.

John White, CEO of the JD White Co., will focus on better understanding how today’s workforce defines a great work environment. He recognizes that people want a balance between work and life, but it is a "moving target" when making the difference between a good place to work and a great one. He wants his company to be a great one.

Larry Paulson, executive director of the Port of Vancouver, resolves that the staff of the Port of Vancouver will continue their individual and collective focus on providing increased economic benefit to the community through genuine partnerships and outstanding professionalism. And, at the same time, Paulson and his team resolve to have fun, not only in the accomplishment of important projects, but through increased mutual respect and teamwork.

Jonathan Avery, administrator of Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital, will be looking to hire talented professionals who are skilled in their fields and passionate about serving those in need. To recruit the best and brightest individuals that meet Legacy’s preferred employee profile, they will utilize creative sourcing and branding strategies and collaborative relationships with community and professional partners.

Now is the time to draft your workforce resolution for 2006. Write it down and share it with your employees. You may be surprised to discover that your own employees have similar goals or even better ones. Then, take time to celebrate each milestone with your employees, and if you fail, don’t get discouraged. Keep in mind that only 40 percent of people achieve their resolution on the first attempt.

Keep building on your successes, and before you know it, you’ll be ready to create your New Year’s resolutions for 2007!

Dr. Lisa Pletcher is the Executive Dean of Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Clark College. Pletcher actively works with the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, the Columbia River Economic Development Council, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and numerous businesses to be responsive to their needs.

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