The year is drawing to a close and your employees are feeling the excitement as holidays draw near. This is the perfect time to talk with and engage your employees around the business’ accomplishments in 2016 and what could be achieved in 2017. Your staff is leaving for their various holiday destinations and you want to be sure that they leave feeling a sense of belonging and pride. Excite them for the year ahead and let them know they are appreciated. A thank you email won’t inspire and connect not when the most important elements of a year-end message are sincerity and authenticity. You can only develop a stronger bond with your employees if your year-end message feels honest and not just that you were “going through the motions” and sent out a mass mailer simply because you think you should. Here are five tips for making a year-end message that is memorable and leaves an impression.
- Begin with the most important part of your message. The ‘Thank You’. Regardless of how you decide to deliver your year-end message, face-to-face, via the intranet or through broadcast, begin your message with a heartfelt thanks to your team. Showing visible leadership and expressing thanks to the team who has worked so hard for you this year can mean a great deal to those who might never see the top leadership, it can mean they leave for the holidays feeling appreciated and noticed and will bring that energy into their work in the new year.
- Be proud! Has your business had a good year? Celebrate and mention some key achievements about your company’s performance over the year. Talk about initiatives or projects that your business implemented that involved the staff and celebrate your corporate culture and community. Let your employees know, regardless of their position, that everyone’s hard work has made the company a success.
- Look behind and ahead. Discuss and embrace past challenges, don’t try and gloss over the rough patches of 2016, mention them in passing and focus on the opportunities and lessons you gained from those setbacks. This brings you to looking ahead. Show your employees how 2017 will be different and instil hope and excitement in your employees by keeping your year-end message upbeat. “Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys” – Rita Schiano
- Allow everyone to breathe. Remind them that the holidays are a time to wind down and enjoy family and friends. Make sure they understand it’s alright and encouraged to ‘take a breath and enjoy’ the holiday season. Share your wishes for their holiday happiness and encourage them to not think too much about work and wish them a happy new year. If you’re in retail,this tip isn’t for you. This is one of your busiest seasons and so focus your message on the fact that after the holidays, things will calm down. Acknowledge the hard work they are doing right now and thank them for being part of the brave few who serve, help and embrace the festive shoppers.
- Share your message with everyone. No one wants to feel left out and yet a mass mailer feels too cold and distant. What platform can you use to communicate with everyone and still keep the benefits of face to face? Why not look at broadcasting your year-end message using the power of television or web-streaming. It’s fast, affordable and will reach even the remotest locations of your organisation.