Lead your team through a healthy holiday

As excited as we get for the holidays, it is also a time of extra stress and expectation for everyone. We all want to enjoy the season, but at the same time we also want to bring our organizations to a successful close of the year.

The end of this year especially presents a new opportunity for us to engage our teams with a season of rest and fresh perspective. Leaders need to recognize this season as a chance to thoughtfully and effectively lead teams through an enjoyable and blessed holiday season.

In 2020, battling through the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us and our teams have worked to be flexible in the face of uncertainty. Throughout the year, our teams have hustled to meet deadlines and customer demands. They have taken on unexpected responsibilities that may not necessarily have fallen into their job description. Come November most everyone feels ready for the holidays to arrive. But most may have never been more ready for a holiday break than they are this year.

As we prepare to step into a fresh new year, we (leaders included) need to end this year with time to relax, be refreshed and enjoy some time with loved ones.

The year presents an opportunity for leaders to learn how to maintain the health of our businesses while prioritizing the health of our people. If we can plan and prepare ahead, we can ensure our teams can really enjoy their holidays this year. 

Here are six ways to lead well through this holiday season:

  1. Be mindful and considerate of your team. Holidays are stressful for everyone. Regardless of their role in your company, everyone faces additional expectations and stress during this time. It is good to be sensitive to everyone’s schedules and flexible, particularly in this season.
  2. Don’t overextend yourself (or your team). Don’t overload or overwhelm your organization with large projects or unrealistic goals. It’s always good to dream and think ahead but avoid new procedures that come at the cost of your people’s time and stress during these months.
  3. Don’t become a humbug. Check your spirit and make sure it is in the right place. You don’t want to be the grinch of the holiday season or become solely focused on work. Keep a sensitive heart toward your people all year-round, and focus on building spirits through the holidays.
  4. Skip the office party and give back instead. Use the season as a chance to give to those locally in need, rather than your annual Christmas party. Whether serving a meal at a homeless shelter or finding single-parent homes to contribute gifts to in your community, consider making a yearly tradition for you and your team to give back.
  5. Make Christmas week a personal retreat for your team. Being emotionally in tune with your team’s needs this season sometimes means giving them more time. If your company allows, consider giving your team an extra few days off around Christmas and letting your company enjoy some hard-earned time off.
  6. Remember to bless your team this season. If Christmas bonuses aren’t something your organization already does, consider starting it this year. Find a way to bless your team this year monetarily.

The holidays are typically more work for everyone. Still, it should also be a season of rest, joy and celebration with the incredible gift of Christmas. Be sure you are leading your teams so that they can make the most of this 2020 Christmas season.