How poorly designed sales incentives can undermine company values
While a Christmas message may seem like a hackneyed distraction, it’s well worth taking a little time to think about one. A leadership message is a great opportunity to highlight success, touch on targets for the next year and, most importantly, thank your teams for the hard work they’ve put in over the last year.
Bring people together
As businesses grow, there’s always a risk leadership teams become remote from their colleagues. The people on the ground may start to feel more distant from the company’s achievements and start to feel disengaged. As we’ve discussed before, if your teams feel disengaged, they’re more likely to look elsewhere for job satisfaction and are less likely to advocate your business to prospective new team members or even clients.
A Christmas message is also a great opportunity to reinforce corporate values and briefly discuss any key initiatives taking place over the next eighteen months. It doesn’t need to be laboriously detailed, but people at all levels want to know that there’s a solid strategy in place and a simple Christmas message can help employees understand how the work of their department fits into the company-wide picture.
Look to the future now
There are several reasons why it’s worth thinking about a Christmas message as early as possible.
Primarily, getting it done early means that you are more likely to still be inspired by the thought of Christmas. As the autumn progresses restaurants, garden centres and clothes shops start pumping The Very Best Christmas Tunes Volume 16 out of their PA-systems. By mid-December this cacophony has the potential to drown out rational thought, sucking the joy from the festive period and making the thought of sitting down and writing a warm, friendly Christmas message far more of a chore than it should be.
Engage your elves
Equally, if you turn your mind to composing a Christmas message now, you are more likely to be able to outsource it while still having enough time to finesse the message as circumstances evolve. You’ll also have the chance to get it looked at and signed-off by other parts of the business.
There should hopefully be several successes and milestones you can point out, even if you leave a section blank for filling in during December to make sure your message is up-to-date when it’s published. Showing your staff recognition for the efforts they’ve put in during the year is a vital element of a Christmas message.
Give them your heart
More generally, try to remember it’s a Christmas message rather than a detailed quarterly report to the board. It doesn’t necessarily need to be full of goodwill and peace to all the peoples of the Earth, but it should be warm and friendly and relatively low on industry jargon. If you’re taking the time to express staff recognition on all organisational levels, make sure your message is something that they can all appreciate.
For many businesses, Christmas is an exceptionally busy time, and the last thing that most people want to have to do is read a long diatribe on the minutiae of the business. They want to know it’s going in the right direction and senior management appreciate the hard work being put in. Much more than that and you risk the message getting swamped in all the hullabaloo of the festive season as a whole.
Given there are a lot of factors you need to balance to get your Christmas message right, it’s worth making sure that you give yourself plenty of time to start the process. Clear communication can be a significant element in the creation of good morale across a business, and good morale is likely to help you attract and retain the kinds of positive employees that help businesses move forward.
It may seem like a distraction to be putting together a Christmas message now, but it’s time well spent.