Communicating during December

With just a couple of weeks to go to the ‘big day’, many organisations are facing the twin pressures of lots to do before the end of the year and employees who in many cases already want to be winding down for Christmas. Offices are full of chocolates gifted by suppliers and the tinsel and baubles that are stored in that dusty box at the back of the stationery cupboard for the rest of the year. And yet there are still goals to be achieved, reports to be written and services to be provided.

So what should internal communicators be thinking about at this time of year to keep staff and volunteers engaged with work as well as the festivities? Here are my top tips for December.

1. Recognise and acknowledge that this is a time of year when there are other priorities in people’s lives. Yes, the show must be kept on the road, but trusting your people to find the balance is important. Encourage teams to discuss what needs to be achieved during December and how they are going to make sure the essential things get done.

2. Celebrate the achievements of the year. It is generally acknowledged that 2016 has been a tough old year in many ways, with lots of shocks and uncertainties that are still hanging over us. However, even amongst the darker days, there will be things that have gone well for most individuals and organisations. This is a great time to encourage staff and volunteer generated content that is important to them – get them to share their stories with you and each other and celebrate success.

3. Find time to plan ahead for next year. This can be a tough one when you have lots to get done before the end of the month, but even a small amount of time to consider your organisational priorities for 2017 and how communication can add value to them will pay dividends in the new year. In the gloom of January, some planned communications to lift the mood and get everyone started on the right track will be useful to have in your back pocket.

Finally, remember to have a few of those supplier’s chocolates yourself – you’re going to need the energy to see you through the busy period and beyond!

Until next time

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