As the year comes to an end, it's a natural time to reflect on your work and seek areas for more development opportunities in the year. For leaders, this doesn't just mean looking at the profitability of your company or team, writes Marcel Schwantes for Inc. It's about gauging your team's dedication and engagement in their work and finding ways you can help them grow.

With that in mind, Schwantes created a year-end check-list that leaders should use to measure their efforts in 2016 and find ways to start fresh after the new year.

First, make sure you're shining the spotlight on your employees. Leadership is never about the leader, it's about the team. Let them own a piece of the work and take an active approach to helping the group. That also includes recognizing and praising your employees. Recognition is a powerful motivational tool to employees' commitments - make a goal to do it at least once a week, which research has proven is most effective.

Also on the checklist, get to know your employees better. As a leader, you have to know the people working for you so that you can help them grow better. Understand what motivates them, what frustrates them, what their dreams for the future might be - it makes them feel understood and heard, while you get to think about how to lead better.

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