Here at Khulisa we are excited and optimistic for the year that lies ahead. But years of experience as evaluators have taught us to reflect on the outcomes of last year and set measurable goals so that 2022 is not just a repeat of 2021. Below are seven resolutions from our team for the year ahead.
- Prioritize Well Being: With all the uncertainty of the last two years, well being fell low on the priority list. Pivoting projects to the rapidly changing world became the focus, and many of us suffered through it. For 2022, we want to prioritize the well being and health of our team. For us, that includes strict discipline about communicating only within working hours, and booking a couple of hours a week to switch of all technology and just rejuvenate. We need to rethink how we work to put team well-being as the first priority, protecting our most valuable resource and stewarding it sustainably.
- Find a Work Accountability Buddy: In order to realize the first resolution, we have a follow up resolution, and that is to be held accountable by a friend at work to prioritize wellbeing. Your accountability buddy will remind you when you are volunteering to handle more tasks but are actually at capacity, when you are working too many late nights and when you haven’t taken time to unplug.
- Bring Joy back into Your Work: Instead of focusing on deadlines and client liaisons, focus on the findings of your evaluation. Allow your creativity and interest to be piqued by designing evaluations, analysing findings and compiling results. So often, we are involved in very interesting work that but the interest gets lost in the pressure. Bringing joy back to work goes hand-in-hand with carving out time to rest and rejuvenate. Create the space to mindful and creative about your evaluation findings.
- Manage your Information Overload: The digital world and social media overwhelms us with scores of research, different opinions, and a wide variety of thought leaders in the evaluation space. But so much information becomes an overload that you cannot fully process let alone apply. Manage your information overload by doing a social media spring clean: Be strategic about what you follow, who you are listening to, which news you subscribe to and what evaluation opportunities you expose yourself to. Become cognisant and structured about when you go online and what you are posting content about.
- Use Management Software: Although it can feel taxing to pay for management software, you will the pay that price in other ways. Using good management software changes the game in data-heavy evaluations and client liaison. Invest in management software and team alignment to create a streamlined, organized culture in your team.
- Seek to Change Rather Than Stay the Same: Change is uncomfortable and requires intentionality. When deadlines are frequent, we ignore areas where we need to change. But we should be seeking to adapt rather than stagnate. Last year, the Khulisa team did an After-Action Review on some of our processes that helped us to see where we were acting crazy: doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Create regular points of reflection and seek ways to change and adapt.
- Follow your Own Advice! We frequently tell colleagues or share tips on work-life balance, but we don’t follow that same advice. Evaluators shouldn’t be hypocrites! If you only gave advice describing your own habits, would your advice change? Let’s follow our advice and start practicing what we preach.