Building Team Morale for 2020 | Connections 4 Success

Building Team Morale for 2020

Holiday parties are an excellent opportunity for executive leadership and business owners to get to know their employees outside of the day-to-day office work. It is an opportunity for you to better understand them as individuals. You can learn more about each team member’s interests, passions, and personalities. You can see how they interact with leadership, management, and each other in a more relaxed setting.

With the holidays and the new year just a handful of days away, it’s likely that your organization has already held your holiday party. You and your team have already had an opportunity to casually mingle, unwind, and talk about the upcoming holiday festivities, and reflect on the year.

Did you learn anything new about any of your team members? Did one individual shine above the rest or suddenly stand out for reasons you’ve never noticed before?

Getting to Know Your Employees

Hopefully you’ve already checked off all the boxes on our Business Leader’s End-of-the-Year Checklist, and you have all your plans and goals laid out for the next year. Take a minute and double check to make sure you didn’t inadvertently leave any gaps in those plans. While creating next year’s plan, did you discover a need to hire someone for a new role or position? Or maybe the need to move an employee to a leadership or management role?

Learning more about your team might help you fill those gaps without needing to conduct an outside search. If you weren’t previously aware of certain interests or passions of your employees which align with your 2020 goals, now is your chance to take a second look at them. Make sure your entire team gets an opportunity to be on a project that will excite them and aligns with their interests. Your organization and your employees thrive when you align roles and responsibilities to skills, interests, and passions.

Reflect on the interactions at your holiday party and make final decisions for 2020’s opportunities. Here are a few questions to consider while potentially filling those leadership, management, and employee opportunity gaps.

  1. Did you notice any employees gravitate toward each other? (Opportunity for new project teams)
  2. Did any of your newer employees hit it off with someone who had been with your business for a while? (Training or mentoring opportunity for skill development)
  3. Who of your employees actively included others in conversation or made introductions across departments? (Potential new manager or department/division/project lead)

Alternatively, you might have noticed a few employees being less inclusive. Perhaps a few were too engrossed in gossip to take the time to get to know their fellow workers better. Why does this matter? As an executive leader, it’s important to recognize these habits, because they can lead to a very toxic workplace – one filled with gossip, frustration, sabotage, reduced collaboration, and subpar quality products and services. This results in a bad external reflection of your organization within your industry.

Utilizing your holiday party as a tool to get to know those who work for you and observing interactions may prove beneficial as you’re finalizing operations, roles and responsibilities, and structure to meet your 2020 goals. Remember, leadership qualities can be found at all levels of the organization. Visit this page to learn more about Connections 4 Success’s take on business leadership and management.

If hiring or internal promotions are on your to-do list for 2020, you’ll be grateful for a few minutes of reflection on your existing team members. This reflection will ultimately save you time (and possibly money) in the long run when appointing an employee to help your organization succeed.

Letting Employees Get to Know You

The holiday party is also a great time to let your employees get to know you as their executive leader or business owner. A good executive leader will be intermingling with their employees and teams, chatting, enjoying themselves, inquiring about holiday plans, travel, and the upcoming down time. These interactions are a time to allow and enable your team to get to know you outside of the day-to-day oversight and strategic thinking they see on a regular basis.

Holiday gathering are a time to talk to your employees and listen to what they have to say. Show them you are capable of having a regular, honest conversation beyond the tasking and inquiring of status updates. These interactions will benefit you later when the party is over and the conversation subjects transition back to daily business. Often, employees will now have the comfort and confidence to approach you with new ideas, share concepts, and express needs.

Conversations are what drive creativity, problem solving, and innovation. Take advantage of the holiday celebrations to lower your guard and give insight into who you are as an individual. Remember, these are the people with whom you spend every day working, leading, and entrusting your organizational goals. Allow them to trust you as their executive leader. Trust and respect lead to conversations – ones that may shed light on ideas of how to improve processes and daily activities, or an explanation of what is wrong and causing lost time or decreased productivity.

When employees get to know you, it may increase their mental buy into the organization, goals, and overarching advancement objectives for 2020 and years to come.

Maintaining the Momentum

Now that the holiday party is over and you’ve taken the time to reflect on your employee’s interactions, personal interests, and passions, now what? Keep the momentum going. As an executive leader, you will want to find ways to keep everyone communicating, interacting, sharing ideas, and troubleshooting by creatively working through problems. Here are a few ideas to help increase interactions amongst employees throughout the year:

  • Convene Quarterly for an Out-of-Work Activity. These don’t have to be large, expensive endeavors like the holiday party. Rather, they can be impromptu gatherings to give team members a chance to socialize outside of their own departments.
  • Morning Scrums. These are good opportunities to get team members together to accomplish a task. They don’t usually take long, but everyone can have an opportunity to get on the same page, caught up with projects, and communicate any needs or tasks.
  • Debriefs. These can be scheduled, but casual. If they occur regularly, they can provide excellent opportunities and insights to discuss missed goals, met goals, and keeping everyone in the loop with adjustments or replication.

Right now is a great opportunity to improve the team’s morale. A holiday party is a great chance to get everyone together to celebrate the year, unwind, and understand team members as individuals rather than titles. Now it’s up to you, the executive leader, to utilize the insights you’ve gained from the holiday party to create momentum for the upcoming year. Encourage time to relax with families and friends while setting the stage for a fantastic convening to hit the ground running as a TEAM when they return.