“The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what kind of year you’ve had – it’s a fresh start”
Kelly Clarkson – American song writer and philanthropist
As business owners and managers, the Christmas period can be either a period of joy and celebration or a disaster.
Every year we hear stories of work Christmas parties that go wrong…..drunkenness, inappropriate and embarrassing behaviour, work accidents and the like. Often management or the organisation is blamed for the outcomes. It all the more disappointing when it is traditionally a period of cheer and goodwill. In Australia it is also the start of the summer holiday period so generally everybody is in good spirits.
The Christmas party provides a great opportunity to build on the season of goodwill and to say thank you. Any manager who does not take this opportunity has failed as both a leader and a manager.
I can remember a Christmas Party where the staff looked forward to the event, bringing their families including children and grandchildren to enjoy the jumping castle, rides, ice cream and soft drinks. The free raffles were always fun until the business owner’s numbered ticket was picked from the barrel. He promptly walked up and collected his prize. His managers were horrified and embarrassed because it displayed a lack of self-awareness and leadership. They also witnessed the negative reaction from the staff and their families. A better option would have been to say “draw the raffle again” – putting your staff and families first and showing that you are a leader.
Another example was related to me by a friend. At their staff Christmas party, the CEO came down and had her meal, chatted briefly to her general managers before disappearing back to her office. All without thanking staff for their efforts or wishing them all the best for the Festive Season. This was left to her deputy. This total lack of leadership was noted by the staff attending. If you do not show respect to your staff it will not be reciprocated. A quiet and sincere speech of less than a minute would have given quite a different outcome.
So what should you as a manager do for your staff at Christmas?
Celebrations aside, the traditional period of goodwill is an excellent opportunity as a manager to ‘rise to the occasion’ and display leadership. Talk to all your staff and their families. Display graciousness and sincerity about your staff’s efforts. Wish them the best and paint hope and opportunity for the future. It is a time for renewal and evaluation so take advantage of this great opportunity………..
And to all the readers of this post, thank you for reading my posts and I wish you and your families the compliments of the Season and best wishes for the New Year.
Note: this blog is out early for Christmas as 21st December is probably too late for most subscribers