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Easy Actions Before Ringing in the New Year
Monday, December 9, 2013 6:40 AM

Tis the season to start wrapping up the year and getting ready for the New Year that will be here in the blink of an eye. By now your budgets should be wrapped up with a pretty bow tied to the top and your strategic plans are laid out like a beautiful map with visions of sugar plums, profits, and new innovations dancing in your head. Creating, agreeing on, and getting ready to announce these items to the rest of your team was the hard part tight? Wrong, the hard part is yet to come.

Corlinda Wooden, co-founder of Wooden Consulting, LLC, says now is the time to rally the troops and get the fine people who will be executing your vision to understand and embrace it so that they can perform and live out the dream.

“Before you do this though, these people need to know how they fit into the puzzle,” Wooden explains. “What have they done thus far to demonstrate they are ready for this new challenge? What have you done to recognize this and show them that you believe they can execute the New Year’s plans? How have you shared the vision with your team? What do you have in place to start the year off on the right track?”

Wooden offers the following actions that can help you achieve all of these before the year is over:

  1. Celebrate - Take a moment to celebrate successes for the year. This means successes as a large organization, successes as a department, and successes as individuals. Also, celebration should not always be tied to monetary incentives. Celebration by true definition is the act of showing appreciation and gratitude. Your celebration can be done in a variety of forms whether it be calling out key performances at a meeting with all of the employees, a department team meeting, or individually during a coaching session, performance review, or hand written card.

“The critical piece here is to be sincere, genuine, and personalized to your specific audience,” Wooden says.

  1.  Communicate - Now is the time for sharing the vision for the coming year, not during the first of the month or, gulp, even at the end of the first quarter of the year once you have wrapped up all of the year’s projects. To start strong, people must know the plan and have time to think about how they see themselves fitting into and executing the plan.

“Transparency is key here, especially if you are making major shifts in your culture or prior strategies. The more information people have the less they can use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks,” Wooden adds.

  1.  Campaign - Create a fun and engaging way to kick-off the New Year. The quickest way to do this with all of the people you are asking to get on board is to invent a campaign that will kick-off right after New Year’s Day. Campaigns are a series of operations undertaken to achieve a set goal. Your operations can vary depending on your circumstances and teams. For instance, with front-line staff this can be done with a sales campaign or a service campaign that lasts for one month to get them reach the new goals for the year. For support staff this can be done with performance metrics or project involvement.

“The goal with whatever type of campaign you select is that you build in the ‘how to’ along with the ‘what,’ give them credit when they perform and then give them extra credit when they demonstrate the right behaviors. In the end, the behaviors will withstand over time,” Wooden continues.