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I remember how hard it was to work right before and right after Christmas. You still have family in town and you’re distracted. There are two huge benefits I see from giving everyone time off like this: One, your team comes back happier and more energetic. Two (if you’re being proactive with your business), you have everything finished before the end of the year. There’s no reason to come back those last few days unless you failed to get something done. If it sounds like a stretch for your business it might very well be. It won’t work for everyone — if you’re in the middle of a construction project, it’s probably not possible, and it might be more difficult for a larger company. I couldn’t have done it my first year in business, mostly because I didn’t have the nerve. The first time we tried it was scary. As a business lawyer I thought, “What are our clients going to think?” But I learned I was letting others control my time; I was letting everyone wait until the last week before the holidays to take care of everything that needed to be done. We’re human and we have a tendency to do that, but we have control over this situation, and if we communicate with our clients, we can set expectations ahead of time. If you can make it work, I think this strategy has far- reaching benefits for you and your team. It’s a much better investment to pay people to take a break and come back refreshed when they can give 100 percent to your mission. It boosts morale and makes you more productive in the long term. My team comes back happier and focused on what needs to get done. Here’s what I noticed this year: I missed my job. I was ready to come back. It was the first time I could remember feeling this way; I don’t think I’ve ever been gone long enough to miss it. I loved being with my family, and my son was home from school so we spent quality time together, which was great. At the end of the break, though, I was ready to come back to work and do what I do best. It’s the beginning of a new year. This is an opportunity for you to give a game-changing strategy a try. In fact, I challenge you to do it. If you want a few pointers along the way, give me a call.
YOUR 2019 GAME-CHANGING
STRATEGY BOOST MORALE AND PRODUCTIVITY WITH THIS CHANGE
Two years ago I changed the way I run my business. I used to take almost no time off, but for two years in a row now, our office has closed the day before Christmas Eve and doesn’t reopen until after the holidays. What allows me to do it? Planning ahead. It’s that simple — and that hard. Since I know we’ll be closed for that time frame, my team and I put everything into place ahead of time so clients’ needs are met and we’ve communicated to everyone that we’ll be unavailable. I would highly suggest establishing this as the norm at your company. Most business owners would benefit from this change. While it can feel like you’re losing time, in reality, you can give yourself a week when you plan ahead. It’s an added benefit to your employees that can make your business more profitable. Once you’ve put the systems in place it’s a breeze, and your whole team benefits. To do it successfully, you do have to do some heavy lifting up front.
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