Do you boost your team into the New Year with renewed vigour!

Will you really celebrate the end of the year with your team to propel them ahead into 2008? And will it truly reflect your values?

During the festive season, even if you don’t have a specific religion, ‘’goodwill towards man’’ is, I think, a fine sentiment in its own right. And after all it is the end of the year, the calendar one at any rate. Therefore if that gives us an opportunity for a little review – what did you do well, what did your team do well, what did you do in spite of the odds rather than because of them– then let’s use it! Let’s spread a little goodwill – there’s a new year ahead!

In your business, is the festive season a time for celebration – the successes of the year, the highlights, the lowlights ………. or just an excuse for a good knees up and a drink or six and the potential opportunity to give some-one a quick peck on the cheek that you couldn’t possibly do at any other time of the year!! Whatever it is, it could be that if you apply a little thought and application – you may get as much as you give.

Last week, I worked with a fabulous team and in the afternoon of day one of the workshop – we did an exercise on alignment. What I mean by that is that we worked out how well the team was on plan, on target and more importantly, as a group were their beliefs, values and vision in sync. Despite all of us having got up very early and been rowing (great team-building exercise!) in temperatures of c4degrees – the exercise revealed some business actions that needed to be acted upon immediately and more importantly issues that could make a difference to the bottom line PDQ! This was a high performing team performing well and for them we discovered how they can be even better. For teams that are less cohesive the results of this sort of intervention can be revolutionary – galvanising them into much, much greater achievements or changes that make the difference! One of the most common reasons for difficulty in organisations and within teams is that values and beliefs are different and therefore having and sharing a vision or mission becomes almost impossible.

At this time of year, for whatever reason, there is a nice warmth and positivity hanging about the place and therefore why not use this perfect opportunity to not only thank your teams and employees for this year’s efforts but more importantly get a little clarity to get them focused on the right things for next year – which reflect your values – as leader, manager or CEO.

Despite the financial wobbles that are occurring on the other side of the pond and despite the continued – how to put? – incidents that our new government seem hell bent on producing each and every week – keeping your team and company focused and not put off by economic fluctuations, competition, or anything else that may distract them…… would very possibly be a great thing to do this side of 2008.

So,

When did you last thank your team – and specific individuals within it – not just a wee comment by the water-cooler or an after presentation comment, a short note of thanks in a card or email if you really must. It goes an awful long way to motivating people and is free to boot ( apart from a little of your time perhaps)!

When did you last gather as a team, group or company to discuss your company vision, your values & beliefs – what is it that makes you tick as a team, as a company – what do you collectively believe in and therefore what do you need to achieve it (I hear echoes of ‘what is she talking about’ – this sort of discussion – even for the most cynical of you out there – could make the difference to you hitting target or not!).

When will you sit down with your team to discuss the learning and outcomes of 2007 and what that means for 2008?

What went less well and have you learned not to do it again?

What went well and how can you repeat that performance?

What should you start doing?

And finally, those same questions for you, the leader, what are your values, what did you do well, what did you do less well and what shall you not do again, continue to do and start doing?

Tis the season to be jolly and as I sit here at my desk, there seems to be more than the odd bit of festive clutter gathering. Christmas is but a pantomime and an organic turkey away, so with all that flurry of anticipation – thank your teams, establish what your values really are – ensure that everyone is in alignment and start the New Year with a flourish!

Goodwill towards all men and have a highly successful 2008!

Kate Tojeiro is an Executive Performance Coach & MD of X fusion; www.the-x-fusion.co.uk

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