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How to Maintain Energy & Effectively Close Out the Year

Jill Macri

At this time of year everyone (including you) is likely operating on low batteries after working hard to achieve their goals.  You may be experiencing an even lower charge than normal given the changes and uncertainty this year has brought.  And yet, there’s another push in front of you to close the year strong. We want to share some ways we have found to both spark energy, and plan for an effective close to the year.

For your teams:

  • Plan a time to close out - it is important to close out this year before launching into the next one.  Whether it is a team get together or an all hands meeting, or even just a note of recognition or reflection from you, start planning now for something early December that will help your team connect and feel that there is a break between the end of year and the beginning of the year push.
  • Create an alliance through a career conversation - get curious and clear about what each person on your team wants to learn and accomplish in the coming months and then create or recommit to mutual goals and a shared mission behind what they’re trying to accomplish. Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh have both talked about the idea of tours of duty and creating an alliance with employees, and we’ve seen this in our own careers with teams we’ve led. Creating a real sense of purpose with your team doesn’t have to be an out of reach set of goals, it can be as simple as asking people what they want to learn over the next 3-4 months and committing to support them in getting there. This can be a skill (diversity sourcing, public speaking, data analysis, project management) or an experience (exposure to technical or sales recruiting, taking on a niche or more senior role).
  • Switch it up - if you’re in the office, at your next one-on-one ask your teammate if they want to go for a walk. If you have a remote team, hop on a facetime or phone call to walk and talk. Some of the best and most vulnerable career conversations have happened when we’ve changed the scenery.

For your the business/hiring managers:

  • Keep an eye on quality - sometimes budgeting that is not anchored to headcount being rolled over to the next fiscal year (“use it or potentially lose it”).  Be on the lookout for these incentives that lead hiring manager’s to believe that someone is better than no one.
  • Understand their vision - if you haven’t had a conversation with the business leaders you partner with on their roadmap for the next year, now is the time to do it.  First get curious about the business goals, meet them leader to leader.  Then get curious about the hiring needed behind those goals.
  • Plan some training to kick off the year through hiring manager trainings.

For you:

  • Have a career conversation - the number one reason why employees leave or get disengaged is because they don’t see career development opportunities or a commitment to their learning — this is true for you too. So, do your manager a favor and help create that clarity.  Talk with your own manager on what you need/want to learn over the next 3-4 months.  If you want to prioritize understanding your leadership style and equipping yourself with setting a mission and vision for your team, you can sign up for our upcoming, Designing and Leading a High Performing Talent Team course.
  • Put on your oxygen mask - what are you planning over the coming holidays to make sure that you have what you need to come into the new year recharged?  Letting your team in on your process can be great modeling for them as well.

Nikole and her team from Team Level Partners  and their work to help prevent burnout in growing organizations. Here are some tips from them:

  • It can be challenging to actually return to our baseline (i.e. being truly relaxed) even when we do get time off because we’ve become accustomed to living in urgency. So make a plan and write it down. How will you actively get yourself back to a state of calm during your upcoming holiday? Below is some advice on how to do that. P.S. Team Level Partners also hosts retreats to help folks prevent and recover from burnout. If you’d like to be kept in the loop about upcoming dates, drop them a line here.
  • Try rebalancing your nervous system by focusing on your body: daily movement like long walks, significantly reducing screen time, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, finishing your showers with 10 seconds of cold water, taking a few minutes a day to meditate (or simply sit quietly). And don’t forget to make time for connection during your break with people who truly know and understand you.

The end is in sight and you are now equipped with ways to recharge not only yourself but your team and business/hiring managers. We feel confident you can maintain or reignite the energy needed to close out the year with a strong finish.  

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