We’re heading into the beginning of the year-end stress-fest: reconciling budgets, preparing for performance evaluations, and developing project estimates for next year—all while employees take time off for the holidays, benefits open enrollment gears up, the roads turn to ice, and the power goes out. Below we’ve pulled together 5 tips to help keep your team on an even keel during this busy season.
1 – Divide and conquer. Divvying up tasks will help reduce stress in several ways—as employees are gone for vacation or snow days, their workloads can more easily be shifted to others in the group, and spreading out time-intensive tasks helps prevent last-minute bottlenecks.
2 – Be realistic. What really needs to get done now, and what can wait until after the holidays? If budget submittals or performance evaluations won’t truly begin until mid-January, let employees know that the first few post-holiday weeks will be focused on completing those activities and they can dedicate time now to more pressing priorities.
3 – Bring in temporary help. Whether it’s another admin tackling those mountains of paperwork or an experienced consultant pulling together estimates for next year’s projects, some short-term support could be the key to maintaining your team’s sanity (and keeping its many activities on schedule).
4 – Get organized. Now is not the time for team members to be frantically searching for stray invoices or missing project files. Pull your Project Team’s documentation together early, and centralize any information that might be needed by multiple team members.
5 – Set up a system. If you find that the steps you took last year (or are taking this year) prove to be successful in controlling the year-end chaos, write them down and be ready to institute them again next year. Continue tweaking your processes until the year-end rush runs like clockwork.