It’s official; I am not making any New Year’s resolutions this year. Since I have yet to arrive at perfection, however, I will tell you what I am going to do instead. I am going to make some conscious changes to improve myself.

What’s the difference between that and making a New Year’s resolution? Motivation.

When it comes to making change in any aspect of life, be it personal or business, the primary motivation is often what makes the difference between success and failure. Setting out to accomplish new tasks and ideas for the wrong reasons can leave a contractor staring down the barrel of another failed attempt at improvement; like a new three-year gym member who won’t see a treadmill past Valentine’s Day.

Motivation isn’t just for the New Year. It is a year round challenge to find what makes the business and its employees tick. Money is a big motivator. It motivates the business doors to stay open and the employees to work hard.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, sometimes there isn’t enough money to properly motivate a staff beyond survival mode. That is when contractors should consider devotion.

Devotion is a strong motivator. It doesn’t cost much money, but it doesn’t come cheaply. Take some time to learn about and invest in your employees personally this year.

I think you’ll find that relational leadership has many benefits to both parties, but be careful. If your motivation isn’t genuine interest in your staff, eventually it will show.