Cultivating meaningfulness at work is important because research shows that people are happier, healthier and more productive when they are doing “meaningful” work.

There is nothing like hearing positive, sincere words about your work. The performance enhancing value of praise and personal attention from the boss were uncovered in a McKinsey survey of 1,000 executives. Results showed that these non-cash motivators were no less or even more effective than financial incentives such as a pay raise or bonus.

Research shows that perceptions of inequity are associated with lower job satisfaction, engagement, performance and mental health, as well as higher turnover. The opposite is true when workers feel they are treated equitably. Clearly, managers don’t want their employees to perceive they are being treated unfairly, so what should a supervisor do?

“Mindfulness,” defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment,” has the potential to better our lives. It also can make you a better leader at work and home.

I strongly dislike New Year’s resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is nothing more than a broad goal, and experience and research show that broad goals do not foster success. However, I do love goal-based action plans, and that’s what I recommend you use for 2015.