Make December Both Joyful and Highly Productive
Every December, as a leader you must strike a balance between the need to keep accomplishing team goals, and giving your people the chance to celebrate the year and the Holiday Season. You have to:
- Keep the team focused on December’s priorities, achieving the final outcomes you seek for 2016
- Give people the time they need to deal with myriad holiday chores
- Use holiday breaks to rest, reset and recharge to get Q1 2017 off to a great start in January
I hope you acted in November to plan how to make December a month of both joy and productivity.
The time has come to put that plan into action:
Meet with each employee this week to review their December plans, including their plans to take time off. If managers work for you, confirm that they have also sat down with their employees to schedule out tasks and time off for the month.
Have priorities changed since early November?
- Is the end-of-year priority list still solid?
- Did you see the progress you expected in November? Must available time be reallocated to protect people’s time off in December?
- What can be rescheduled for January without too much fuss?
How can you help them with lagging tasks and projects? What conversations can you have with other group leaders to help move projects along?
Confirm their Holiday schedule
Move heaven and earth to make sure all team members can stick to their personal Holiday plans.
Make sure they take any half-day passes for shopping and other holiday errands you granted them in November. Even with a shift in professional priorities, employees still need to run errands to keep their personal plans moving forward. Value and encourage that! The stress relief that comes from making progress on personal plans flows back into their work life, giving their workplace productivity a lift.
Review your agreements on what needs to happen to ensure a successful 2016 Performance Review
You agreed in November on the steps the employee needs to take to make any formal review more constructive and rewarding. Discuss their progress, and refocus them on making progress in areas of lesser performance.
Put more of your own time into 2017 launch planning
Keep laying the groundwork for 2017 with your boss and his or her superiors.
- Line up support and resources this month that you will need in 2017.
- Keep fleshing out your strategic assignments with more detailed action plans (especially if you haven’t yet started!)
You really want to use December as a festive, joyous, not-to-stressful time of celebration. Lay out exactly what needs to get done so that people remain on the same page. Force people to take the time off they asked for in November (I mean this seriously.)
As we wrote last month, make it a group project with your team to strike the right balance of Holiday work and play!