Is there any more hectic, fun, and stressful time of year than the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? Between the end of the year reports, final projects, deadline pushes, and trying to provide a little levity for the holidays, there’s so much for managers to do and accommodate, 24 hours in a day isn’t enough.
At the same time, it’s important for everyone, from the corner office to the newest hire, to stay focused and do what they can to tie the year up in a bow.
Here are some suggestions for keeping everyone on track and making sure productivity doesn’t drop too far as the year comes to an end.
Clearly identify and label priority projects.
It can be hard to know, which is the most important thing on the to-do list. If you’re not sure, neither are your employees. Add to that the inevitable last-minute “emergency” project that’s bound to get dropped into your lap, and that makes things more confusing. Communicate often with your team about the most important thing that needs to get done soonest. If things change, make them aware of that. Keep everyone on the same page, and it’ll alleviate a lot of stress and confusion along the way. Remember, too, to be realistic. Your company and team won’t be able to accomplish three months’ worth of work in six weeks.
Lead by example.
If your team sees you taking your foot off the gas pedal, they’ll do the same. If they see you staying focused and working the same hours, putting in the same effort, they’ll follow suit. If there are days when you want to do your best work, but something’s distracting you, acknowledge — at least to yourself — that things happen and you’ll do better tomorrow. Everyone has those days. But if you want your employees to stay on task, show them that you’re not trying to cruise toward the finish line either.
Talk about your goals for the year ahead and their roles in the company’s success going forward.
If employees feel engaged, valued, and important as part of the whole company’s vision for a successful future, they’ll buy-in and stay committed. Be energetic and enthusiastic about what you see happening in the next year and let your employees know what’s on the horizon — but reiterate that they are an integral part of this vision, which won’t come to fruition without them, their hard work and dedication.
Encourage employees with vacation time remaining for the year to take it.
You know what it’s like to balance your work and home life and how those demands can blur the boundary between the two. Let your employees know you’re willing to approve vacation requests, staggered across the team, from now until the end of the year to give them all the chance to catch their breath, take care of some of those holiday obligations, and to take a break. It’s their time, they’ve earned it!
Say thank you with a little celebration.
The end of the year is a great time to say thanks. Whether it’s a late Friday afternoon treat of coffee and donuts or a community catered or pot luck lunch, set aside a little time for your team to come together, relax and have a good time. They’ve worked hard. If you want them to keep working hard, reward them, show your appreciation, and offer a little treat. They’ll appreciate it — and you’ll enjoy the change of pace too.
The end of the year is hard for everyone, with so many demands and so little time. Give yourself and your team a little bit of a break, but lead by example and stay committed to the most important things that need to be done. You’ll all benefit!
Build Your Team for the New Year
If you’re looking to build out your team based on the successful year you’ve had, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We’re ready to help you find some great new talent to help make 2021 a great year! Contact us today, and let’s get started.