Like most of the population, I took in the new Star Wars film over the Christmas break with my family and friends. No plot spoilers here, but it doesn’t disappoint in the action stakes and uses a pretty tried and tested formula for storytelling which gives something to almost everyone watching and has sent its audience figures skywards. It also invested in a production budget which was almost double that of the previous few films (to the tune of some $200m) and brought back a few of familiar faces to woo a section of their viewers they felt they’d ‘lost’ in the prior films. And boy does it appear to have been a successful strategy: with $1.2 billion in worldwide sales after only a few weeks, it’s set to be one of the all time biggest hits of cinema to date.
Your own production may not have the budget of Star Wars or need the customer figures they are focussed on, however even Star Wars has it’s critics and there is no doubt that their brand experienced a bit of a slump from episodes 1 - 3 which they have bounced back from successfully. If you’re a challenger brand or start up fighting against your very own Dark Side, you’re going to need every trick in the book to kick start your own team and come up with the ideas which will see you successfully through this year and next.
Do a Warm Up
You might be all fired up after days of planning and revitalising yourself over next year’s targets, however you can’t just launch into a conversation about your sales targets the first time you see someone after a break (just as you wouldn’t collar a client for a contract sign off). Or rather, you can of course. But don’t expect them to provide responses brimming with enthusiasm. Why? Because no relationship works that way - you need to show an interest in others to build them- and we are programmed to adopt social norms even at work. Which is why you will not be able to elicit any sort of meaningful response without easing into the conversation without the associated pre-amble of ‘How was your Christmas?/ New Year /Trip?’....
Focussing on the future helps inspire people
I have a well worn practice in January of booking my next holiday to have something to focus on. This year it’s going to be Disney World - more for the kids than me you understand... - and I make sure I do this before the end of January and share the news with my home ‘team’ so it can take their mind off any Back-to-School-Blues. You don’t need to take your team to Disney World ( or it’s grown up counterpart- Vegas anyone??) to replicate this, but discussing and agreeing something fun in the future is a great pick me up for even the most stubborn of Post-Christmas blues.
Recognise achievements as part of day-to-day business
Remind everyone just how much gets achieved on a regular basis. Had a shocker last Quarter that you'd rather forget? Everyone can bounce back, they just need the right incentive, motivation and tools to do so. So boost their mental-banks by reminding all of their successes, the bigger picture and don't just recognise the big ticket items, but all the little steps you take to get there too.
Just keep doing what you are doing helps
Its tough pursuing goals, keeping customers happy, hitting the numbers and motivating your team. But just ‘keeping-going’ inspires others, so apply all of the above to yourself first. Remember, whether you like it or not, you're a role model to your team. For bonus points, do it with a smile on your face. It's infectious.
Downtime is important for the mind and body, as everyone needs to step back and catch their breath once in awhile. But getting everyone focussed and moving towards the future is just as important and imperative right now for you to be successful. The best leaders do what they say they are going to and reinforce all they are focussed on every day.
Want to feel the force with your team? (sorry, I just couldn't help that one!)
If you want to get off to the best possible start next year, and ensure that you have systems in place that will allow you to generate some Employee Magic to boost your business, take away the ‘noise’, streamline your processes and claim your status as the go-to place people want to work with, and set meaningful goals for the year ahead (as well as create a blueprint that will actually ensure you achieve them), then get in touch today & sign up today at TheHRhub.
Photo Credit: Star Wars Weekends 2015 - Invasion III by Scott Smith