Written by Michael Hall, Founder and Director of WildWorks
The best way to ensure a great New Year kick-off for your organisation in 2013 is to show powerful leadership before people leave for their Christmas break.
The actual moment to act in December depends on your specific business situation, but don't hesitate just because people's minds are drifting off to joyously distracting festive activities.
So, what type of leadership can you show?
This time of year holds a special opportunity to capture and fuel the hearts and minds of your business: not just about what they've achieved over the year, but what they can look forward to in the New Year.
It's natural to look back and reflect on progress over the year, often while celebrating at office parties and events, but it can be just as important to help people know that they can leave their desks for holidays safely assured that their organisation is on the right track, and knows where it wants to go. In addition to appreciating the efforts of the business, teams and individuals throughout the current year, at the right time, and in the right way, you can also let people know you that are clear about the following year.
You can provide clarity around where the business needs to go and what will be needed from people once they've returned relaxed and energised from their holiday or break.
Engage people around your priorities and outline how there will be opportunities for people to play a vital part in helping the business succeed.
When you authentically do this in business, you have the potential to:
... and be a leader.
So in the back of people's minds, as they holiday with family, friends or maybe on their own, they can rest assured they will have a clear purpose when they return to work.
A thoughtful gift, indeed.
It's also a useful exercise for yourself so you don't harbour any nagging doubts about what's needed to be done once you too return to work.
Q: What can you do when the organisation regroups for the 2013 New Year?
A: Again, it's about showing leadership by helping provide direction and being aware of people's mindsets.
People often return from holidays or their breaks at different times. Even if people head back straight after Christmas the excitement of New Year’s Eve can then quickly take over. This staggered restart for the overall business can make it difficult to galvanise a workforce around a rallied and unified beginning to the year.
There are two main ways a leader can help the organisation to kick-start itself into the actual New Year:
1. Know when most of your workforce is back in action - and reiterate your pre-Xmas message. Give people the chance to again understand how they might contribute and be valued.
2. Encourage people to be self-starting by helping them prioritise their activity for January. Ensure these priorities roll right up to the overall key focus of the business for 2013.
There's no doubt many people are ready for a restorative break around Christmastime. It's an important time to connect with family, friends and self.
But that's no reason why people can't then venture into the New Year with vigour and purpose – appreciative of the fact that they work for an organisation which shows leadership and strength, providing clarity and direction.
And besides, there are also those who will be raring and energised to contribute from the moment they swipe their pass. Plan to harness that energy, and use it to help others find their New Year groove!
Michael Hall is the Founder and Director of WildWorks. He works with leaders around the world to help guide their organisations through Business & Leadership Programs which provide organisational engagement, transformation consulting and leadership support.