Planning your Christmas message with staff recognition in mind
While a Christmas message for employees may seem like an extra task that distracts you from core day-to-day business, it’s well worth taking the time to deliver one.
A message from a business’ leadership team is a great opportunity to highlight success and touch on targets for the next year. Most importantly however, it’s a chance to thank your teams for their hard work over the year – especially as we keep rolling from one unprecedented trading period to another.
Bringing people together
As a business grows, there’s always a risk that leadership teams become remote from their colleagues. People on the ground may start to feel more distant from the company’s achievements and objectives and become disengaged.
This creates a feeling of being undervalued, that there is no recognition within the company for their work and skills. Left unchecked, these feelings become key drivers prompting people to look elsewhere for job satisfaction.
It also impacts your business reputation as they are less likely to advocate your business to prospective new team members or even customers or clients.
If you can, bring people together and deliver the message in-person, using video conferencing to include remote team members or satellite offices. If this isn’t possible, a written message will also work. Remember to assemble a trusted team to check it over to ensure the tone and language cannot be misinterpreted.
A Christmas message gives you the opportunity to restore that feeling of connection, recognising and reminding everyone within the business that their role is important. It’s also a chance to reinforce corporate values – particularly if they are evolving over time – and briefly discuss any key initiatives taking place over the next 18 months.
It doesn’t need to be detailed, keep the pace up and make sure it feels light and natural. People at all levels want to know you have a solid strategy – a simple Christmas message can help show how each department’s work fits into the wider picture.
Look to the future now
Delivering a Christmas message early keeps the anticipation and excitement of Christmas going, creating a good energy level in the workplace. As autumn progresses restaurants, garden centres and clothes shops start pumping The Very Best Christmas Tunes Volume 16 out of their PA systems.
By mid-December this cacophony can have you wishing for Christmas to be over, sucking the joy from the festive period and making the thought of sitting down and writing a warm, friendly Christmas message far more of a chore than it should be.
Engaging your elves
Turn your mind to composing a Christmas message now, you’ll have time to get feedback from stakeholders so your content conveys key business messages.
There are nearly always successes and milestones you can celebrate in your Christmas message. Recognising staff for their efforts during the year is vital and sorting it early means you won’t miss anyone out.
Give them your heart
At the risk of sounding cheesy, make your message personal – so your staff can hear it matters to you, that you care. This is not a detailed quarterly report! On the other hand, make sure it doesn’t become a sugary hymn overflowing with goodwill and peace to all the peoples of the Earth.
Highlight important business updates but keep it light-touch. Swap industry jargon for occasional humour and personality. If you’re taking the time to talk about staff recognition on all organisational levels, make sure your message is something that they can all appreciate.
Given that Christmas is an exceptionally busy time for many workplaces (and individuals), most people don’t want to read a long diatribe on the minutiae of the business. They want to know it’s going in the right direction and that senior management appreciate everyone’s hard work.
Keep it simple, real and heartfelt and you’re probably onto a winner.