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Ask Dr. Sharkey: Pull Your Team Out of the Post Holiday Slump

Posted by Dr. Linda Sharkey on 1.10.2019


“Dr. Sharkey, my employees and I love celebrating the holidays. Our office is full of spirit and cheer during these times, but year-after-year I notice that once the holiday season is over, our productivity slows and sales are lacking. How can I address this post-holiday slump and give my team a boost?”

After the holidays, it’s the perfect time to re-energize your team. Employees are back from what was, hopefully, a restful time with family and friends. It’s time to focus on the year to come. Unfortunately, this is often overwhelming as they aren’t looking forward to new and stressful employee goals.

It’s your job, as a leader, to start the New Year with a sense of excitement for the future. Help your team focus on and celebrate last year’s wins. Then, you can easily move forward and turn their attention to the exhilaration of the great potential this year holds.

Host look back and look forward celebrations

Celebrations for accomplishments should be team events -- not individual meetings. I host employee meetings, leadership retreats, and team meetings to facilitate yearly celebrations.

This approach cascades through the organization and encourages everyone to reflect on what they have achieved and what they can achieve together. Throughout the year, I always make this a facilitated discussion so that everyone can participate and be heard. I call these the “Look Back and Look Forward Celebrations.”

Here are the questions that get these meetings moving:

What were you most proud of last year as an organization or team?

Make note of the prevailing themes as responses come flooding in. Go through those themes and give yourself time to reflect on what everyone accomplished. Then, take time to celebrate with your team. Reminisce on the struggles they overcame, moments of laughter, and even moments of frustrations.

What accomplishments will make you proud at this time next year?  

Again, be sure to capture the themes as each group reports on their sentiments for what this year will hold. As you review those themes, turn the meeting into a planning session. Discuss with employees how you will measure success for those accomplishments and the milestones they need to reach along the way.  

Note each metric and milestone employees declare and find commonalities between them. Use this information as the backdrop for your strategy and goal-setting. Remember, this isn’t just for Q1. The success of these meetings relies on leaders’ abilities to carry the theme throughout the entire year.

Make this a living approach to work and focus on the team or organization. Document your team’s successes throughout the year and note how each milestone is getting them closer to those ultimate employee goals.

With this approach, I guarantee you will kick off your year with excitement, energy, and focus.  Just follow through and keep the strategy and employee goals alive in all your business discussions.

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Topics: future workplace, workplace communication, intelligent workforce communication, ask dr. sharkey

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