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Communication During the Holidays

Question:

I’m concerned about productivity during and after the holidays. How can I communicate my expectations in a friendly yet forceful manner?

Answer:

It’s a wonderful time of the year — shopping for gifts, decorating our homes, baking, traveling to be with family. Stress can also increase for many people during the holidays with the overall added pressures. It is no wonder that employees become very distracted during the holiday season, and for  managers, it is a particularly difficult time to keep your staff on task. Occupied with additional activities during the holidays, your employees may drop activities, like prospecting and networking.
There is no excuse for being unproductive just because the holidays are coming up. It is critical that you communicate to all employees that your business should strive to finish 2013 on a high note. The following are some tips that could motivate your staff during this time of year:

  • Tie bonuses to results – Showing a direct correlation between achieving goals and receiving rewards can improve productivity. Find a fun way to encourage competition while keeping everyone focused.
  • Communicate expectations clearly – Be sure to plan ahead and cover your bases before everyone goes on vacation. A clear plan of action helps keep everyone on task and will ensure who is responsible for what.
  • Focus less on hours and more on results – Emphasize the importance of work quality versus quantity. Help your staff set targets and find efficient ways to achieve them.
  • Allow staff to work from home – Consider allowing employees to work remotely some days instead of just giving them time off. Trusting your employees with this flexibility should result in a less stressed workforce.
  • Communicate more frequently with employees – Rather than having long meetings consider quick passing conversations in the hall or even touching base via texts, emails, etc. This lets employees know you you’re aware of what they’re doing and discourages them from slacking off.

If you take the time to communicate clearly and bring your staff together in a positive, results-oriented way, you’ll be spreading good cheer instead of being a “Bah Humbug”.

Communication often seems like a “no-brainer”. You have something to say and you just “say it”. However hearing and listening are two different functions. HOW you communicate is often as important as WHAT you communicate when it comes to getting results! Strategic HR, inc. has years of experience preparing communications for a variety of audiences and topics. Visit our Communications page to learn how we can assist you with various communication-based projects.