Musthafa Ebadi
Your Team Needs Balance During Holiday Season!
by Musthafa Ebadi on August 25th, 2011

Monday, December 20, 2010

It’s that time of the year again! It’s the last week before Christmas and traditionally the first Monday we all get into the festivities mood and are often distracted by the long list of to do's, multiple parties invitations, and still outstanding gifts. Hence its natural and realistic to expect that its easier for your team not to be 100% focused and at times be somewhere else. At times people are caught up in a whirlwind of activity and no one seems to know who’s working and who isn’t.

As a leader you have a crucial job of balancing your employee’s personal needs and continuing to execute on the business objectives. Often the leaders will fall into the trap of going to either extreme by either losing the focus on business needs or ignoring your employees personal needs. While either of the two options might not make a huge difference at that particular time choosing one over the other could have dire consequences as early as first week of the following year.

To perform the balancing act and ensure that you and your team enjoy the holiday season and also meet your business targets and objectives I have the following tips to share with:

1. Reinforce the priorities: Meet with your team at the beginning of the week and reinforce the priorities for the holiday season. If possible divide the priorities into two groups of pre Christmas and pre New Year thus making them more specific and easier to focus on.

2. Talk to your team: Take few minutes and chat with each member of your team to first understand what’s top of mind for them outside work, and also ensure they understand what’s expected from them during the holidays. The more concise you can define their tasks for holidays the more easier for them to focus and hence balance their personal and professional life.

3. Be Organized: As a leader if your schedule is mess and you are late with information and deliverables, your team will follow your lead. Be a good role model by showing your team how you balance business with holiday fun.

4. Lighten Up: If a project, task, or deliverable can wait until January, then it’s best to hold off. Although people may have the post-holiday doldrums on January 2nd, holiday rest -combined with a new year - tends to have a reviving and refreshing effect.

5. Don’t Introduce Something New: Keep the status quo with your processes and procedures so people know what to expect. If you introduce a change now, you will not be able to get a good pulse on its success or failure.

6. Clarify Holidays: Clarify to your team which days are holidays and which days aren’t. This will ensure that people are planning around holidays, will eliminate any confusion or surprises.

7. Centralized Availability Grid: Ensure you have an availability grid with everyone’s schedule. Ensure all the vacations and days off are tracked accurately, is captured in the availability grid, and is easily accessible to all your staff who are working during holidays.

8. Have Fun: It’s the holiday season and festivities times. From decoration in the malls to programming on TV, to type of movies and music shows everything has a holiday season theme to it and they are centered around partying and having fun. Ensure you have fun with your team and don’t be shy to enjoy a good laugh with them.

9. Say thank you. Last but not the least: Say Thank You. Show your staff that you appreciate their service, their commitment, and their dedication. Thank them for their efforts, their support, their ideas, and their work.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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