Depending on which industry you work in, the end of year flow might be slow, busy, or it could even stay the same. The manufacturing and construction niche I work in is very much seasonal (apparently no one likes to build houses in the winter) and production tends to slow down a bit. Businesses also like to slow down on late December orders because of inventory – because people have realized it’s much easier to count stuff when you don’t have a lot of it.
Regardless of what business sector you work in, the “procrastination bug” tends to spread like wildfire this time of year. When December rolls around, I’ve noticed that people tend to slow down, or even tune out – which can negatively impact productivity.
You see, the holidays can make us lazy. From stuffing ourselves on Thanksgiving to staying up late on New Year’s Eve.
So what can you do as a manager to break through this shell of unproductivity?
If business is slow or busy, I’ve found that taking a more hands on approach helps keep things on track. You could even take a step further and be an authoritative leader. Make a list of daily tasks to complete for your team, or those employees working under you.
Any individual who takes initiative and doesn’t need consistent guidance is a great asset to have – but even the hardest workers can stray away from the heard once in a while.
Having a visual checklist will give employees a very clear set of directions on what needs to be completed that day – so they can be better prepared for tomorrow.
Another way to fight back procrastination is by setting some type of benchmark. This can be anything from hitting a specific sales number by year end, or producing a record number of products for December. Having a “finish the year strong” mentality will give your employees a reason to work harder and push through a little more before the New Year.
You can continue with this theme by also offering some incentives when the benchmark has been reached. There are many incentives you can offer (and no, it’s not a bribe) from extra vacation time, a holiday party, or even a monetary incentive like a bonus.
It’s a great idea for your employees to work together to achieve some type of goal for year end. It will improve communication across the company, build up morale, and put an end to December procrastination.
Like many steps to conflict resolution, figuring out why your co-workers are procrastinating is the most important way to solve it. As a manger, you need to discover the root cause in order to develop a lasting fix to the problem. So go ahead and try out some of these examples – you just might find the solution you’ve been looking for.