Christmas is in the air. It’s been in the air since sometime on Halloween night, when the first Christmas decorations went up. Since then, we’ve been alerted to the approach of the holiday by advertisements, social media posts, email blasts, and watered-down versions of carols played in elevators and dentist’s offices. There are only a few shopping days left before Christmas, but you won’t have to shop for the gifts I suggest.
If you’re responsible for the performance of a group, there are gifts you can give your teammates at Christmas-time and all the rest of the time you have together. Some good news is that they won’t cost you a cent. Even more good news is that they will help your team and teammates be happier and more productive.
Give the Gift of a Good Example
If you’re the boss, your teammates are watching you for clues about how they should act. So, set a good example. If you want them to work hard, work hard yourself. If you want them to be honest, tell the truth. If you want them to put the team first, don’t hog credit.
Give the Gift of Praise
Praise is the magic elixir of leadership. Timely, legitimate praise will get more good and effective behavior. Not only that, timely, effective praise makes everybody feel good.
Give the Gift of Control
Your teammates want to have the most control they can over their work life. So, give them as much as you can. If you’re like many bosses, letting go and letting people control their own work life makes you nervous. Suck it up. Take a deep breath. And let go. You’ll be amazed at the good work your teammates will do.
Give the Gift of Safety
Make your team a safe place to work, physically and psychologically. Encourage candid discussion of facts and opinions. Stamp out ad hominem arguments.
Give the Gift of Clear Communication
Communication happens at the ear, not at the mouth. Make your communication as clear as possible. Check for understanding. Later, go check to see if understanding has turned into the behavior or performance you expected.
Give the Gift of Growth
People want to make progress. Do what you can to help your team members grow and develop.
Give the Gift of Trust
When teammates trust each other, doing good work is fast and easy. Create trust in your team by trusting each of the members and the team. Encourage them to trust each other.
Give the Gift of Good Cheer
Good cheer isn’t just for Christmas time. It’s for business every day. Remember, when it rains on the boss, everyone gets wet. Set the example and make your team a cheerful place to work.
These are all gifts you can give to your teammates at Christmas and all year round. When you lavish these gifts on your team, your team will do great work and have high morale, too.