At this point in the year, everyone is comfortable in their company. They know how the company should finish the year, what kind of bonus to expect and whether their position is likely to move forward into the new year. They know what is expected of them to perform their tasks and who to work with to accomplish that.
As a leader, you are also probably feeling good about your team. You are looking forward to the natural ramp down due to the holidays and recharging your batteries to drive your team starting in the new year. Budgets and goals have been approved and unless you work in a seasonal business, meeting frequency has dropped.
But a true leader knows that now is not the time to rest on your laurels. You need to keep your forward momentum going. There is no on/off switch on your team’s performance. Allowing the bad habits of being content creep into your culture will take months to remove. Everyone deserves a little coasting time, but not at the expense of team performance.
Now is a good time to:
1. Review holiday vacation schedules. Coverage is key. Clients (both internal and external) will still need your team to perform at peak efficiency. Having your entire team out at the same time will surely hurt your company’s performance.
2. Do a “final review” of this year’s goals. Before bonuses and performance evaluations start, take the time to go through each member’s goals and challenges to see where they will end up. If they need to schedule a continuing education class, now is the time to do it.
3. Have a preliminary 2017 team meeting. Let your team know what may be expected of them in the coming months so they can mentally prepare for it. Go over challenges, rewards, and plans.
4. Review your goals with your management. Without their buy in, getting anything done will be next to impossible. Ask them specifically for ways for you to improve personal and team performance and efficiency.
Use this slow period to position your team and yourself to have the best year as possible. Waiting until January to do that is not smart and will only cause your team to not live up to their potential.