Now Is The Time To Write Your Christmas Leadership Message
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the summer holidays are over, the nights are drawing in, it’s time to put your head down and start the headlong run into the festive period.
There’s a lot to look forward to between now and advent: blackberries and mellow fruitfulness, Halloween and log-fires, firework night and crisp autumn mornings, but one thing that we’d recommend that you take the time to do now is craft you company’s Christmas message.
This might seem a little presumptuous, but bear with us on this. Here are five reasons why you need to get the message in process before the last leaves have fallen from the trees.
Garden centres have already started to devote shelf space to Christmas decorations and supermarkets will shortly be following suit. It’s a slightly insidious ramping-up and by mid-November your ears will be increasingly assaulted with the drone of festive muzak. By December 1st it’ll all be baubles!
By the time that happens, you are unlikely to have anything inspirational to say about the most wonderful time of the year. Better to focus on it now, before the taste gets too saccharine, even if you are leaving a small blank space in the message to celebrate any business successes that you score in the final quarter.
2. Sign-off from colleagues
Even when you are at the top of the company, you can’t always see all of the angles. Sometimes there are tensions between teams that you don’t know about (or don’t need to know about) but a slightly ill-placed phrase can be misconstrued, so it’s always worth asking someone to take five minutes to read through your Christmas message from a political perspective.
A fresh pair of eyes
Have you ever re-read an email that you wrote two months ago and wished you’d said something slightly differently? Writing your Christmas message early gives you the chance to have another quick look over it with a fresh pair of eyes before it goes out and tweak the message to make sure that it absolutely strikes the right tone.
A fresh pair of some else’s eyes
Given the ease with which we all slip into the jargon of our roles, it’s also worth running it past someone that’s not directly involved with what you do if you are sending out the message across all levels of your business. When you are trying to do a good thing and thank teams for their hard work over the year, the last thing that you want is to simply sound like you are a business-English spouting automaton, so it’s well worth five minutes getting someone objective to glance over it.
Sign-off from the legal team
Putting out a Christmas message to your business always invites the risk that it will be sent beyond the confines of your company, particularly with emails. It’s worth getting the legal team to have a look over it to make sure that there’s nothing too contentious in there.
3. Make time to outsource it
You don’t necessarily even need to write your Christmas message. By starting the process early, you can come up with the three key points you want to make, brief someone in your communications team or agency about what you want to say and have them do it for you. If you start the process now, you still have the time to make changes without it being a last minute rush.
4. December’s always manic
A bit like Christmas cards, if you haven’t written your Christmas message by December 1st, it’s probably already too late. The festive season is always hectic, whether you are focusing on fulfilling orders, meeting targets and closing out the financial year or forecasting how next year is going to look. The Christmas message should be a trivial half hour job, but done right can have a very positive effect on morale, so it’s worth getting it squared away early.
5. Have time to get the reward right
Companies often use the Christmas message to deliver rewards to their teams and starting the process early means that you can get the message around the reward right and set the reward appropriately. To maximise the impact of any rewards you wish to present during the festive season you need to ensure early delivery, before the extended holidays begin. As such the delivery of a timely message of thanks to accompany a token gesture of appreciation is of equal importance as the reward itself.