End of the year wrap up or is it? Save yourselves and your staff!

Publication 15, Issue 6

It’s that time of year when you take stock of all the things you did and all the things you wished you’d done but didn’t – and beat yourself up about those things you missed, right?  Well, most of us roll that way!  And for those who do, here’s some advice:  don’t beat yourself up about the things you didn’t do, and think twice about putting it in high gear to crank through what’s left on your to-do list!  Instead, acknowledge and validate all of the things you have accomplished, prioritize what’s left and decide if any are worth rolling over into next year!

As an Organizer, I spend more time lamenting the things I didn’t do rather than basking in the glory of all the things I have done.  I’m committed to changing it up and I’ve told myself this year will be different.  I plan to take stock of my accomplishments and reflect on how I plan to close out the year – and yes, maybe even sneak in one extra thing if I’m able!  But that’s just me; I’m not managing a staff these days!

So managers, your staff takes their direction from you.  If you’re freaking out because December is around the corner and there are 10 things you wanted done before year-end – if you start to bark out orders, frown when granting PTO or start to sound like Scrooge – stop and catch yourself!  Here’s how the Playground Personalities reveal themselves when wrapping up year-end work under stress:

Peacemaker Managers – send early morning emails with apologies first, and unreasonable tasks second!

Organizer Managers – break a sweat over all the to-do lists they’ve accumulated and send emails with four “to do” attachments!

Revolutionary Managers – subscribe to the “save it up” strategy, wait until the last minute and pull the fire alarm!

Steamroller Managers – drop anchor in the middle of the water, change their minds about what’s important to focus on by year-end and begin to pile on the work!

Each of these styles creates angst, anxiety and not such a kindly response from staff, especially around the holidays.  If you want to “press on” until December 31st or if your company is one that gears up at year-end because your clients do and staff is scheduled to work throughout the last two weeks in December – not a problem!  Here are some management tips to keep your staff happy and productive around the holiday season when work is increasing instead of dwindling.  When working with:

Peacemakers – ask for volunteers, acknowledge the staff and thank them!

Organizers – assign projects to staff with clear deliverables and due dates!

Revolutionaries – don’t make the schedules too tight, give breaks and celebrate!

Steamrollers – call a huddle meeting, explain the big push of work and ask the staff to brainstorm how to get it done!

If you don’t consider the right approach to your staff, you may run into some of these responses:

Peacemakers – will give their bosses a pass, try to accommodate all of their requests and will miss the mark!

Organizers – will demand clarification of dueling to-do lists to know what jobs will come off and be replaced by new ones!

Revolutionaries – will sit back and watch their bosses’ heads spin and wait until the last minute before they spring into action and work!

Steamrollers – will wait for an informed reply to “Why the last minute rushes?”  And, if they don’t get one, they’ll continue to wait!

Consider using some of these communication suggestions and ideas if you have an end-of-year push looming at work.  Let me know how they pan out!


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