Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for December, 2009

Work Productivity During the Holiday Season….Not!

I posted a blog entry at holiday time in 2007 and re-posted it here. Because some things never change. Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday to you and yours. Looking forward to posting in 2010!

Originally posted: 12/12/07

Interesting how a good portion of corporate America follows a lack of productivity curve during the holiday season. You’d think that the end of the Fourth Quarter would bring some frantic productivity towards reaching the year’s stated goals. And of course it does for a few. Most though—based on my observations and experience—follow the trend of multiple social gatherings with fellow co-workers, an increase in cube visits and small talk, early departure for celebrations and/or holiday shopping, and the overabundance of unhealthy food served on desktops in cubes across America.

Perhaps part of our lack of productivity is caused by these distractions, or by the sheer exhaustion from increased personal obligations and preparations above and beyond our workloads. Whatever the reasons, I mention it here in the hopes we won’t beat ourselves up too much. —Because we’re not alone.
Above all, here’s to an accepting and grateful mindset during the season. Enjoy and happy holidays to you and yours.

When leading change, a strong plan can make all the difference.

Studies—and our experience—tell us that during organizational change, employees may spend as much time gossiping and speculating, and trying to figure out what to do, and how to do their jobs, as they do productively working. The question isn’t how to eliminate a drop in productivity during significant change, because we’re not capable of eliminating it. In fact, we should expect and plan for it. The question is how can we minimize the drop in morale and productivity so that we minimize the risk to our employees’ and our organization’s success.

Although leading organizational change calls for numerous leadership skills, strategies and approaches, a strong plan is crucial to leading change effectively. The answers to these questions will serve as a great start to your planning process:

– How will you anticipate the change and plan for its impact on productivity?
– How will you carefully create a plan for, and strategize, the change?
– How will you communicate the plan to your employees?
– How will you engage employees in the change initiative?
– How and what resources, coaching, and support, will you provide your management team and employees to help them lead themselves and others through the change?
– How are you planning to communicate—and receive feedback—throughout the change?
– How will you evaluate your own leadership effectiveness throughout the change?
– What follow through and maintenance strategies will the organization need once the change has occurred?

A strong leader’s change strategy will be based on the understanding that a clear plan is the first priority, and the success of the plan is dependent upon the engagement and successes of individual employees and teams.