Three steps to avoid the employee Christmas disconnect
So the question I have been putting to business owners and leaders is: How are you making your people feel loved this festive season? What are you doing to breath positivity into the new year? How are you saying thank you?
Straight after Christmas comes new year and many a new year's resolution will be for people to find an new job. Gallup told us more than a year ago that 30% of people were waiting for the upturn before making a career change. With the media reporting signs of recovering and optimism beginning to emerge, this is the time that people have been waiting for.
Resignations traditionally spike at the Christmas break anyway and this year is likely to be worse. It may well be too late and if people have already 'mentally checked out' it will be difficult to bring them back to the fold. So now is the time to get people thinking positively about the new year, to let them know that they will be appreciated. To really get to work on aligning people to the purpose of the business. This investment may take a while but it will repay itself well and truly in time for Christmas 2010.
So be proactive about the Christmas 'disconnect'. Here's a few things you could do:
- Managers need to be with their people, (leading from the trenches) understand the world of the people they manage and authentically thank them for the specific contribution they made. Understand the employee experience – what is it really like to work there.
- Have fabulous things for people to look forward too. And I don't mean increasing their targets or asking more from them. Let them know how you plan to celebrate and have some fun with achieving even small wins – make sure that they are achievable.
- Establish ways to listen to your team (and not just at the Christmas party when a few too many beverages have been consumed)
And remember one last little piece of wisdom. SMILE, and have a laugh. It is ok to have fun in business, to be yourself, and people want to hang around a place where people are having fun (and achieving results)
As the leadership team goes so goes the rest of the organization.
So you have the power to put the 'Merry' back in Christmas, and then they will show up again for another year.
Naomi Simson is the 2008 National Telstra Women's Business Award winner for Innovation. Naomi was also a finalist for the Australian HR Awards and a finalist for the BRW Most Admired Business Owner Award in 2008. Also in 2008 RedBalloon achieved a 97% Hewitt employee engagement score. One of Australia's outstanding female entrepreneurs, Naomi regularly entertains as a professional speaker inspiring middle to high-level leaders on employer branding, engagement and reward and recognition. Naomi writes a blog and has written a book sharing the lessons from her first five years.