Enthusiasm for business wanes as the year moves into the last quarter, so what can you do stay focused on the job?
At year-end, we all need time away from our work to rest and recuperate before starting another year. Ideally, thoughts of rising late in the mornings and spending time with family and friends particularly over the festive season don’t start creeping into our minds while we’re at work much before there are a couple of weeks of work left in the year.
However, every year we are more productive, and probably work longer hours, so we’re tiring faster. But there’s no easy way of saying this, you’re in trouble if three months out you’re struggling to maintain your enthusiasm for the job, and achieving business goals.
If this sounds familiar, don’t be alarmed as you’re not alone, it’s noted that the real challenge to stay focused on work comes when the Christmas ads commence, and they’re beginning earlier every year.
This is a phenomenon called ‘Christmas creep‘. Any mention of Christmas and we’re distracted. Celebrating mid-year Christmas doesn’t us to help either, but you’ve got to feel empathy for the southern hemisphere eating stuffed turkey and trimming in Summer!.
There is also the big trading days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that distract from making money to spending it.
You’ll know your team are distracted when the chatter around the workplace is on how to secure the best deals and what to buy for the vacation and gift-buying. If there is ever a time during the year when leaders and managers need to show their skills, this is it.
So how do you keep your team and yourself focused on business tasks, and reaching milestones and goals?
Let’s take a look at some of the simple strategies you can use to maintain your own enthusiasm as well as that of each team member, so productivity goes up not down at this time of year.
We all need motivation, and nothing encourages people more than a relevant incentive. Productivity will rise when your workers know what they can ‘win’ in recognition for their efforts and skills. Set aside a healthy budget ‘worker incentivization’.
To get buy-in from leaders and workers, for smaller incentives, work together on deciding what the prizes and also agree on the team events. For example, a team lunch or dinner every quarter may be the reward for exceeding a goal.
Plus there can be a prize-giving ceremony at the end of year work function for individuals who have excelled for the company.
An extra day or two off work is an incentive most workers would work hard to win. The days can provide a four-day minibreak when tagged onto the weekend, and there are many beautiful destinations at home and overseas well within reach to make the incentive all the more exciting and motivating. Plus your company could also pay for a long weekend away.
Trip for Two
In some industries, workers are used to prize-giving for top performance. Plus most companies encourage competitiveness among their salespeople. Luxury prizes for top monthly, quarterly and annual billings inspire salespeople to be self-motivated and driven to be top performers. Why not consider short local minibreaks for other areas of your business. There are quite achievers everywhere, and recognition of their efforts often goes unrewarded.
Accolades and Trophies
Who doesn’t like a nice trophy? Handing out an award is an economical way of showing your appreciation to the winner, and when it’s done at a team event, the winner also gets applause from their colleagues. The memory of this event can last for years and be an incentive to win it again the following year.
As the manager or leader, you can help yourself and your workers to fight the urge to think too far ahead with reasons to stay in the present – i.e. with incentives to work.
The fun can start when you and your workers have reached the milestones and achieved the business goals for the year.