19 December 2017
There is always a lot of debate at this time of year when it comes to business and productivity. It is absolutely an opportunity to get some extra work in, to carry on while the competition take time out for the holidays – that can’t be argued.
I often go back to a story from the early days of UKFast when one of our sales team was about to throw the towel in on Christmas Eve. He’d been working on a few deals but they hadn’t completed. He was a little deflated but looking forward to the Christmas break. Just as he was logging off, one of the people he’d been talking to called back. He closed the deal with minutes to spare, and the client was called Mr Christmas! It was a lesson in never giving up.
Equally, as a 24/7 business, it means there is always a team of people working on Xmas day and Boxing Day to support clients and keep everything running smoothly. Gail and my first priority is letting them to know that they are valued and to say thank you.
But, I have to say that that is only one side of the coin. Switching off at Christmas is absolutely essential. Rest is a huge part of any formula for success. Over the years, I have learned that the most important part of business at this time of year is making the workplace a fun place to be for your team.
Christmas is a time for fun and saying thank you
For us, the first way we thank the whole team and create that fun environment is to throw the big Christmas party. This year was Circus-themed in our new office space, it was extraordinary and a real opportunity for the team to bond and completely switch off, blowing off steam and celebrating an awesome year.
Equally, we’re one big family and this time of year is all about friends and family. That’s why we hold our Friends and Family evening with Santa Claus, presents, a pianist, Christmas carols and mulled wine. It’s a special event with all of our friends and family together. Alongside this, we’ve created a bit of a festive tradition with a cinema trip to the Odeon where we take over a whole screen for a preview screening of the new Star Wars film. This year’s Last Jedi screening certainly didn’t disappoint as we were joined by Kylo Ren, R2D2, Vader and a host of other characters from a galaxy far, far away.
But it is not just about the big events. I am a huge advocate of helping teams to celebrate together. This week we’ve already had so many teams heading out for lunch and to swap Secret Santa gifts. And with this come the organic ways of celebrating like IT director Neil buying doughnuts for the whole office earlier today. It is these moments that make the build-up to Christmas special.
I’d love to hear how you embrace the festive spirit in your business. Do you have any traditions to share?