As we wrap up 2016, I have a special end of year gift for you! Five tips to catapult employee engagement and satisfaction during the holiday season. As John F. Kennedy said “One person can make a difference and everyone should try”. Why not try at least one of these tips before December 31, 2016?
- Reflect on and recognize full year achievements: Take the time to ponder all of the contributions of your team and cross-functional colleagues and surface those that deserve special recognition. This could take many forms including phone calls, emails, hand written notes or formal awards. The most important thing is to take the time to do it.
- Attend holiday social functions: Like some of you, I am a self-proclaimed introvert and am generally not a big fan of large social functions. However, when it comes to work events I push myself to attend. Why? Employees notice what leaders do. Participating in social functions shows that you want to spend time with employees, that you have company spirit and that you are not all business. Showing up matters. And, you may even have some fun!
- Demonstrate and support a work-life balance: The last few months of the year are generally times when employees use vacation days and spend time with their friends and families. Knowing that, perhaps hold off on sending emails late at night or on the weekends. Encourage employees to “unplug” when they do take time off. Maybe be more flexible about work start and end times. And, use your own vacation days to relax and refresh.
- Use down time for human interaction: Although this does not apply to all employees, the last two weeks of the year can be more quiet than usual. Because so many employees (and bosses) are on vacation, there are fewer meetings and fewer requests. If you find yourself with a few hours of free time, get out of your cube or office and walk around. Stop by and chat with employees by the coffee machine. Peek your head inside open office doors and say hello. Have lunch in the cafeteria. Be visible and engage.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate: This does not just apply to the holiday season, but to all months of the year. My personal view is that providing high quality, non-corporate, consistent and relevant communication to all of your employees at all levels, is one of most important drivers for employee engagement. Employees want to know what is going on, why and how their efforts link to the department and company goals. This could take the form of one on ones, skip level meetings, roundtables, emails, videos, intranet updates or all hand’s meetings. Perhaps December is a great month to try something new. “Stop communicating with me” said no employee, ever!
Creating an environment where employees feel valued and respected is one of the most important responsibilities of a leader. This drives employee engagement, satisfaction and retention, and helps us to attract top talent.
1) Reflect on and recognize full year achievements
2) Attend holiday social functions
3) Demonstrate and support a work-life balance
4) Use down time for human interaction
5) Communicate, communicate, communicate