Now's the Time to Tie Up Loose Ends from 2010
For all intents and purposes, there are five, maybe six, productive weeks remaining in 2010. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the December holidays not far behind. That means employee engagement might be at its weakest point in the year.
Don't fret. Instead, take advantage of November to elevate your team's focus on year-end tasks: meeting operational objectives, achieving customer deadlines, refining budgets.
Take time with your staff now to recalibrate your focus on what's left of Q4.
Ideally you'd set aside several hours over the course of this month to regroup with your team collectively to prioritize for the year-end crunch.
Here are three ways to ensure you're on the right track:
- Review customer commitments. Things can get out of whack over the summer; vacations tend to make people (hopefully) forget about the office. An in-depth review of your commitments to customers -- both internal and external -- can reaffirm what you can get done or what you might need to renegotiate. With your team's ducks in a row, set a meeting with your customers to ensure they still have the same expectations they had in January. Adjust accordingly and communicate any changes.
- Shift roles and responsibilities. Just as your customers' plans might have changed over the first half of the year, so too might your team's ability to support those customers. If your team has been downsized or has taken on new responsibilities, use your planning session to ensure the right people are signed-up for the right tasks and projects. Also, with an eye on development, look for opportunities to identify stretch assignments for team members.
- Check calendars. If you thought summertime turned the office into a ghost town, wait until the holidays arrive. That's why now is the time to capture your team's availability in the months of November and December. While things slow considerably after Thanksgiving, inevitably something comes up that requires more than a skeleton crew to accomplish. Plan ahead.