Employee Engagement During Christmas

I’m wishing I had a dollar for every time someone told me they had had a tough year this year.  ‘So glad to see the back on 2009’. People are saying that they have worked harder than they have in years yet ‘Christmas bonuses are long since a thing of the past, and salary reviews for next year are not yet certain’.
So the question I have been putting to business owners and leaders is ‘how are you making your people feel loved this festive season? What are you doing to breathe positivity into the new year? How are you saying thank you?’
Straight after Christmas comes new year… And many people will make a new years resolution to find a new job. We’ve seen research that says upward of 30% of people were waiting for the upturn before making a career change. The media is reporting signs of recovering and optimism is beginning to emerge. This is the time that some employees have been waiting for – the grass is beginning to look greener.
Resignations traditionally spike at the Christmas break anyway. This year is likely to be worse. It may well be too late. If people have already ‘mentally checked out’ it will be difficult to bring them back to the fold. So now is the time to get people thinking positively about the new year, to let them know that they will be appreciated. To really get to work on aligning people to the purpose of the business. This investment may take a while but it will repay itself well and truly in time for Christmas 2010.
So be proactive about the Christmas ‘disconnect’. Here are a few things you could do:

  1. Managers need to be with their people, (leading from the trenches) understand the world of the people they manage and authentically thank them for the specific contribution they made. Understand the employee experience – what is it really like to work there.
  2. Have fabulous things for people to look forward too. And I don’t mean increasing their targets or asking more from them. Let them know how you plan to celebrate and have some fun with achieving even small wins – make sure that they are achievable.
  3. Establish ways to listen to your team (and not just at the Christmas party when a few too many beverages have been consumed)

And remember one last little piece of wisdom. SMILE, and have a laugh. It is okay to have fun in business, to be yourself, and people want to hang around a place where people are having fun (and achieving results)
As the leadership team goes so goes the rest of the organisation.

So you have the power to put the ‘Merry’ back in Christmas, and then they will show up again for another year.
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