As we head toward Christmas and close out another calendar year, it’s always good to reflect on the year’s successes and even perhaps what didn’t go so well so we can improve next year. Our reflections should always include how we treat the people with whom we work.
The most valuable asset any business has is people, and the strength of our relationships with fellow employees & associates can make or break a successful year. Our business relationships extend beyond our own companies’ walls out to our customers and vendors. These relationships, like those with our own people, are valuable business assets as well.
During this “season of goodwill,” consider the fact that leveraging our relationships and working collaboratively is how our best work gets accomplished. Within the context of the organization, nobody can be successful by going it alone. For example, just look at Bill Belichick’s coaching style and the New England Patriots’ winning record during his decades-long coaching leadership. Teamwork and collaboration define what the Patriots’ business philosophy is all about. Winning performances, whether in sports or business, depend on how well a team works together and recognizes the contributions of each player!
Holiday Game Plan
As you identify the important people in your business (and who isn’t?), make a plan for recognizing the value of your relationship with them, not only during the holiday season but throughout the whole year. If it’s too late to plan and order Christmas or other holiday gifts this year, mark your 2017 calendar now to give yourself plenty of lead time to plan ahead for next December.
Put some strategy behind your gift giving and holiday party planning, and by all means, be inclusive. Be aware of people from diverse backgrounds who may celebrate different holidays or have unique celebration customs. Be warm and welcoming to those from less familiar backgrounds and cultures.
December happens to be a month that is rich in holiday traditions across just about every continent and region throughout the world. This fact makes the end of the calendar year the ideal time for celebrating diverse ideas about peace, harmony, goodwill, charity and love. Coincidentally, this year, Christmas and Hanukah both start on December 25th! For a concise list of culturally diverse holidays and who celebrates them, click here.
It’s okay to use Real Holiday Names!
Whatever the cultural make up of your office, let people express their own unique ideas of the holidays. Whether it’s Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or a New Year’s celebration, we can all come together during the Holiday Season to appreciate one another.
Censoring religion or culture-specific holiday words in the name of enforcing cultural sensitivity makes no sense, confuses people and may cause resentment. Let’s all appreciate the unique holiday greetings offered to us by our workmates and give sincere and heartfelt greetings in return.
As a company or team leader, the positive tone you set for the Holiday Season will tend to spread from person to person. The really important thing is to make sure that all of your company holiday activities are designed to strengthen relationships among employees and business associates.
Whether it’s the holiday party, greeting cards, office & plant decorations or extra goodies & gifts shared among coworkers, we urge you to foster a spirit of inclusion. Make sure to recognize in a special way during this Holiday Season the employees, customers, vendors and charitable organizations you work with and support. Then let your gratitude for these mutually beneficial relationships show all year long.