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Friday, January 10, 2014

It's (Still) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I write this January 6th, and most of my readers are at work for the first time in 2014.  The big holiday push is sadly over in United States.  We get ready to settle in for the next couple months of cold, slushy, yucky, winter. 

Admittedly, weather-wise this isn't me as I live in central Florida.  But even without the weather challenges, I still feel a lull in excitement.  There is even a phenomena called “Blue Monday” to explain this deflation after holiday feeling.  (

It's (Still) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Thinking to November and December, there are three of emotions that help excite people, professionally and personally, during the holidays.

First is the emotion of generosity.  There is a greater sense of community, where we realize we are all part of one planet.  We see more requests for charitable giving, like the Salvation Army red kettle bells or Toys for Tots signs.  We freely give and gladly.  These are positive links to our fellow humans, and that feels good.

Next is the emotion of anticipation.  We buy presents with the anticipation of the happiness it brings to those we care about.  We also get excited about what we may receive.  Could it be something we asked for all year, or is it the perfect surprise?  It’s also the anticipation of the New Year.  What is in store for us?  The possibilities are endless.  

Finally, there is the emotion of celebration. The atmosphere changes with the music we listen to and the decorations of our homes and businesses.   We wear our best to impress at holiday parties, because we sense these are special times.

Then after eight weeks, BAM!, it is over.

How to Keep it Going

Based on the three emotions above, there are actions you can take to help the feelings of the holidays move into the New Year.  It won’t be exactly the same, but maybe it can help fuel your team until the spring.

Generosity – Charities need help year round.  Pick a charity to donate time or resources to in January and February.  Continue the spirit of giving. As Cory Booker passed along recently, “You don’t need a reason to help people.”  Charity feels good year round.

Anticipation – Surprise your teams in big and small ways.  Create a program where employees surprise each other.  It could be the “Christmas after Christmas.”  Start a contest, "Who Had the Worse Commute to Work this Week."  Be creative and go beyond the pizza party.

Celebration – Pick a theme for the office and decorate accordingly, maybe “Winter in Hawaii,” or "Winter in Las Vegas."  Play supporting music or a themed movie in the break room.  Encourage the team to dress according to the theme too.   Pick something festive and positive. 

Back to Work

Try one or two of the tips above and see what happens.  Half of work is the environment created at the work site.  There are no rules how to work during each season on the calendar.   Strategically thinking how to maintain the positive spirit of the holidays can only help employee engagement and productivity as we hunker down for the winter.

We wish you a prosperous 2014!  As always, please let us know how we can help you reach new levels of success.

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