It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already drawing to a close and the holiday season kicks off next week with (one of our favorite holidays) Thanksgiving. Folks are scrambling to prepare for company coming into town, sprucing up their homes with holiday cheer, and digging into their shopping lists. Combine all of this with the responsibilities of your 9 to 5 (more like 8 to 6, these days) and it can be a lot to juggle. So how do you keep your staff motivated and productive during the chaotic holiday season? There are a number of ways to combat your team from succumbing to a tryptophan-induced stupor this time of year, but here’s a list of our favorites:
Be an Example! – If you’re going to ask your team to do something, you’d better be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself too! If you need them to put in some extra hours to pick up the slack for a teammate that’s out of the office, then you need to be there too. Whether that means coming in a 7AM or staying until 6:30PM, just do it! When your employees see you working hard and producing, they will want to join you.
Set EOY Goals – This is a great time of year to reflect on 2015 successes and to put some additional challenges in front of your team. Set time aside to discuss and evaluate how the year has gone thus far, then set two types of goals: one that is obtainable (if they continue on the same trajectory), and one that is more aggressive to challenge them. Make sure that if they do meet their respective end-of-year goals that you reward them. (Tailor the recognition or gift to them specifically, and you’ll engrain these positive behaviors.)
Organize a Team Outing – It can be difficult to carve out a half day or even a full day from work with everyone’s busy schedule, but trust us—just do it. Here are a few examples:
1) A Team Lunch/Dinner to reflect on the year more informally than in the standard one-on-ones. You can also use this time to hand out awards and recognize your top performers.
2) A White-Elephant Gift Exchange to build team rapport.
3) A Holiday Present Wrapping Party to take something off of their to-do list at home.
4) A Volunteer Day for your favorite charitable organization.
And the list goes on, just get creative! (Here at Anchor Point, we get together for a holiday themed photoshoot and use these photos for our holiday cards! Sounds a bit corny, but it’s a blast and is always a hit.)
Maintain Open Lines of Communication – Keep your team in the loop! You preach this all year round, so don’t stop know. Update them on where things stand for your overall team, the progress that the group has made this year, and what’s needed to achieve EOY goals. Share calendars and send out invites for the days when you/the team is going to be out of the office. Not only will it make them feel valued, it will also help you forecast your team’s bandwidth.
Engage in Friendly Competitions – Make the day-to-day more exciting by setting up team competitions. Try to leverage this against the daily or weekly tasks that they already do. For example, the winner could be the person that sets the most new meetings that week.
Want more productivity tips? Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram! Interested in having Anchor Point help you augment your IT or engineering staff this holiday season? Contact one of our offices and we'll be in touch.