The end of the year can offer much-needed rest and time with loved ones, but the weeks leading up to it can be some of the most stressful of the entire year. Managers need to take extra care to ensure employees go into the new year feeling motivated, valued and refreshed.
“If you’re someone who struggles with setting work-life boundaries, or you’re a people pleaser, this is the most guilt-ridden, nightmare time of year,” Emily Ballesteros, a burnout management coach in Chicago, told CNBC Make It. “There’s a lot more responsibilities to tend to, and a lot of guilt around attending or not attending holiday events.”
The end of the year is stressful for companies in most industries as they race to meet annual revenue or production goals, however, it is also a time for reflection, recognition and renewal.
Managers can use this time to help keep employees focused, revisit goals and develop strategies for improvement and personal growth in the new year. And managers shouldn’t simply focus on what the employee can or should do – this is an opportunity to explore how you can improve. Managers who are receptive to criticism and suggestions can plan for their own personal growth and ways to revise their goals in the new year.
Here are a few tips for how to engage and energize your team amidst the end-of-year chaos:
- While many companies host parties or bring in breakfast or lunch to celebrate, the focus tends to be on the company and its successes of the year. Managers should take this time to recognize the hard work and dedication of employees – and celebrate wins big and small even if they didn’t have a direct impact on company goals.
- An annual review can certainly be an opportunity to recognize employees, but even though more companies move away from annual evaluations, managers should take the time to meet with staff 1:1. Thank them personally, and specifically note ways they contributed and how you value their contributions.
- Invite employees to reflect on the year. Open the conversation to discuss what worked well, and what didn’t work so well. Be intentional about asking employees how you can improve as a manager to help them be more efficient or realize increased satisfaction in their work.
- New Year, New Goals
- Talk to employees about their goals. You may have developed new team or even individual goals as part of your annual planning process, but the end of the year is a great time to revisit these goals. What is it that the employee wants in their role at the company? What are their personal goals – not just professional ones? What can the company do better to improve their experience?
Taking time to breathe and have personal conversations with your employees amidst the end-of-year stress can be critical to helping employees re-focus and re-center. They will head home for the holiday season feeling respected, valued and energized for the new year.
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