New Year's Resolutions for Your Business

December 8, 2022 | New Year's Resolutions for Your Business Hailey Allen, Business Record,

In our personal lives, the end of December is a time to mark the progress and changes we’ve made over the past year, and perhaps plan new goals for the year ahead. In our work lives, the end of December means the end of Q4, and perhaps reflection of a different sort. Business leaders may be checking in on finances, investments and business models to see how the year has played out for their companies.

Some leaders may be thinking of other ways to create a stronger business in 2023. Building a happier business culture, stronger communities and healthier employees are areas in which businesses can look to grow during 2023 that can lead to a better business overall. Making a New Year’s resolution to build up these areas of your company is a long-term investment, but one that could have lasting effects.


Alyssa Saunders, director of initiatives and integrations at Anthologic, summed up the company’s culture with three words: belonging, empowerment and flexibility.

“Let’s be honest, culture is more than a pool table, a pizza party once a quarter, or a happy hour with your co-workers. Sure, these are all important bonding experiences that contribute to culture, but the true culture of an organization is much deeper than that,” she said.

Anthologic is a marketing and technology agency in Des Moines, offering specialized services in areas like digital marketing, branding, graphic design and SEO through subsidiary companies with expertise in these areas. Saunders says that despite having over 100 employees across the collective brand, Anthologic’s overall positive culture stems from “allowing our team members to make their own decisions and trusting them to give just as much as they take, and define their own balance.”

“We prioritize culture because we believe that if you create an environment where people like what they do and who they do it with, it’s a win-win for our team members and our clients alike,” she said, adding that this relationship ends up benefiting the organization as a whole. “It’s because we have a culture centered around respect … that makes people want to continue to work at Anthologic and that allows us to bring in some of the most talented people around.”

Saunders emphasized that building a happy company culture is important first and foremost because it is “the right thing to do.” But even from a financial standpoint, “it’s no secret that when it comes down to dollars and cents, it costs the company more money to hire, train and up-speed a new employee than it does to retain a key employee. So our solution is to simply create an environment where our team members feel appreciated,” she said.

Her advice for other business leaders wanting to improve their company's culture in the coming year is to really listen to what employees are saying. But even before that, “you have to focus on creating a forum or a space where people can be heard and feel like they can give honest, candid feedback, free of fear of retribution. If people feel unsafe to share suggestions on how the culture can be better, nothing changes. Leaders in the company need to be intentional about creating space, asking hard questions and then listening,” Saunders said.


While working to improve the inside of a company may seem like an obvious step for growth, there can be benefits from looking outward to the community surrounding a business as well. “Communities provide most of the elements of quality of life for our team members,” said Drew Vogel, chairman of Diamond Vogel Paint, which is why he feels it is important to give back to and help expand these communities when possible.

Diamond Vogel Paint makes a point of donating a percentage of its bottom line annually to fund a foundation. The recipients may change based on developing needs or new projects in their area, but the reasoning behind it is the same. Having a strong and thriving community can better contribute to the needs of an organization, whether that is labor and workforce, entertainment and work-life balance or simply offering an engaged customer base. The symbiotic relationship of company and community is important to consider. 

“A business, much like an individual, is called to give back to the community according to its capacity and in balance with employee welfare and ongoing reinvestment in the business,” Vogel said of what drives his own company’s philanthropy efforts. 

For Diamond Vogel Paint, the senior team keeps an eye on areas or initiatives that might be a good fit for the company to contribute to. Vogel advises other companies looking at how to better invest in their communities to “commit to a budget ahead of time and define what type of activities are compatible for your organization. It makes the decision easier when the opportunity to participate presents itself.”

Beyond being helpful, finding ways to donate time or funds also increases feelings of fulfillment and gratitude. “It provides an additionalsense of purpose and mission,” said Vogel.


The health and wellness of employees, both physically and mentally, can play a big part in its overall success. Jodi Schweiger, executive director of business development at the Iowa Clinic, believes in the sentiment that a business is only as healthy as the people within it. 

“This is absolutely true, and there is research to back up this statement. As a former dietitian and diabetes educator, health and well-being are areas I am very passionate about. Employees that are healthier, both mentally and physically, perform better, tend to be happier, are more resilient and handle stress better. The healthier your employees, the higher their productivity, which impacts a company’s performance,” she said.

As a health care organization, the Iowa Clinic practices what it preaches. There have been a variety of programs implemented over the last several years aimed at meeting employee needs and increasing total wellbeing, according to Schweiger. One such program is the recent adoption of TIC Pulse, a social-media-like platform for internal company rewards, recognition, challenges and incentives for sharing healthy behaviors.

“We’ve set a goal for 90% employee engagement on our TIC Pulse platform. This year we’ve already reached 80% engagement, so we’re thrilled about that,” said Schweiger. Employees get rewarded for participating in challenges that require healthy behavior adoption, such as drinking more water, taking more steps, exercising, meditating, and attending annual medical screenings like wellness visits with a primary care provider, mammograms or colonoscopies.

Schweiger advised top leadership to be intentional about health and wellness initiatives, and rely on feedback from employees to find the best options. “It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every company is different, and their employees and the work they do are different,” she said.

Investing in health and wellness is a way for companies to show they are invested in their people and the work they do. This requires looking at career growth, social well-being, financial well-being, physical and mental well-being, and community well-being, said Schweiger. “How, as an organization, can you support your employees in these essential areas of wellness and even beyond?”