Reboot and refocus your culture ahead of the holidays

After a warm and sunny October, November on the west coast is bringing home the fact that summer is long behind us. Our days are getting shorter, even if our workdays aren’t.

And as holiday season decorations and sales start to roll out, employees are likely beginning to look ahead to the many fun distractions on the horizon: holiday parties, family get togethers, maybe some vacation time to somewhere warm. Entrepreneurs – and I include optometry practice owners here – may also be trying to figure out how to get away for some family or travel time, without disrupting the practice’s day-to-day.

This article in Entrepreneur looks at how to reboot your team’s energy and focus after what is for many a slower summer work period (though I’ve written before that it doesn’t have to be). It’s just as relevant for any employer interested in giving their workplace a productivity boost in advance of December.

The holiday season is full of opportunities to improve your practice culture, foster better connections between your team members and draw patients in with themed promotions. With a few tweaks to the list in this article, you get eight ways to keep your staff engaged throughout the distracting, sometimes stressful, holiday season.

Take point three, for example. With the end of the year comes reviews, and assessments of your practice’s targets and goals, along with bonuses or raises. One check-in a year however hardly keeps your employees or your business on track. With two months left to 2017, why not schedule a team-wide check-in: celebrate successes with small awards, certificates or rewards; review where improvements can be made to meet or come closer to your annual targets (in eyewear sales, in recalls, in reducing your number of unbooked appointments); and promise another such event at the end of the year to review the impact of those improvements.

Number six is another suggestion that works well for this time of year, as does number eight.

A quick read of this list may make you question how taking employees offsite, or scheduling activities over lunch, will make your team more productive and focused on their work. The key is engagement: the more engaged your employees are – i.e. the more they want to be at work and are keen to tackle their tasks – the more productive your practice is.

The bottom line is that it’s worth investing in giving your culture a boost and rebooting engagement, and now is a good time to create a plan for doing so. Check out ‘How Do You Reboot Your Company Culture Now That Summer Vacations Are Done‘, and ask: How do you energize and focus your company culture ahead of the hectic holiday season?