As the holiday glow fades and the team trudges back to the grindstone, how can an organisation get the new year off to a productive start and set the scene for the priorities ahead?
The return to work can be challenging, and — depending on your business — it can take a while for momentum and productivity to build again. One of the most common gripes we hear from employees in our travels through the world of organisational communication is that ‘we don’t know what’s happening’. So, why not plan to be talking with your team in the coming weeks about what’s in store, how the strategy is going to unfold, and what the priorities are?
It seems that a ‘new year recharge’ is rarely done effectively or in a targeted way, except perhaps in sales organisations where targets are king. Surely now’s the perfect time to be thinking about how to get your employees focused again, ready to hit the ground running when things get busy, regardless of the business you are in?
Let’s think bigger and more engaging than a ‘welcome back’ email from the CEO. There are many ways to get things moving, and what’s best for your organisation will depend on your existing communication culture. A key point to remember is to be upfront about the challenges, and to highlight the positives — the exciting opportunities that will keep people focused throughout the year.
Why not think about:
- getting leaders involved and energised by including them in planning conversations early, providing them with the insight and tools needed to successfully motivate their own teams for the year ahead
- a leader-led ‘communication event’ of some kind — which could be as simple as a video message from the boss, highlighting the team’s focus for the next few months
- a series of more intensive ‘cascade’ strategy briefings, preferably with an interactive twist that gives staff the chance for some input and ideas-generation.
Technology has given us wings, opening up many engaging options. A new year’s ‘kick-start’ communication event doesn’t have to be expensive — webcasts, blogs, tools like Yammer, good old-fashioned face-to-face briefings — and its potential benefits are many.
So, get cracking on the creativity, and make 2014 a ‘happy new year’ for your workplace.