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Making good use of the seasonal slowdown

OK, I know for many of you that you don’t really have a slowdown per se; however, for many businesses at this time of year there most certainly is a seasonal “let up.” Let’s be honest, things tend to happen at a much slower pace between now and the New Year. Many of our offices have a ton of employees off on vacation and some places even have official office closures until Jan 5th.

Like many of you, I enjoy the holiday season but I also have learned over the years to make productive use of my time if/when in the office during the holiday season. If you are a manager or employee that is working during this time, but is struggling to fill in your day, here are several value added things you can work on during this time so as to set yourself up for success at the start of the New Year:Office Holiday Image

  1. Get organized – seems simple, but it is something we put off doing all year, but now is the time to do it. Go through all those papers and files that accumulated on your desk and in your office/cube during the year(s). If you haven’t looked at or referred to the file since January of this year (or before then) then shred it. Same goes for electronic files – time to clean up those network directories. I mean really, how many versions of that last presentation do you need?
  2. Plan for that performance review – many organizations kick off performance review season in January. Get the jump on things by preparing your self-assessment for your manager to read upon their return to the office or better yet, if you are a manager, start writing those performance reviews now. Why wait until late January when everything is back in full swing and you already feel yourself falling behind? Make use of the time now to get ahead of the game.
  3. Talk to your staff – one of the many things I preach about to managers on this blog is to always make/take time to talk to your staff. This should be part of your daily routine, so what better time to start this practice (if you don’t do it now) than during the holiday season. Wander around, talk to people, check in with them, have a personal conversation, talk about plans for 2015, etc. Bottom line – engage with them as people and plant the seeds that this is how you will communicate with them in 2015 and beyond.
  4. Update those LinkedIn profiles – what better time of year to work on cool projects like updating your company’s LinkedIn page? This time of year is perfect to update your company page with fresh content and new articles. During the holiday season, many prospective recruits will be job searching, so you want to have something fresh and current up there. Likewise, fine tune your own profile. Make sure it represents what you currently do, what you are working on and what your personal brand is. If you are in Talent Acquisition, Human Resources or are a hiring manager, make sure your profile is enticing and is something that will grab the attention of a prospective job seeker that might want to connect with you.
  5. Update your company website – same as #4, if you company is planning to do any hiring in Q1 or Q2, add some postings now. Generate some buzz and interest as many people tend to surf for new jobs during the holidays. You never know who is visiting home and might see your posting – but you have to have something fresh and current for it to show up and grab their attention.
  6. Update that employee handbook – let’s be honest, the (probably outdated) employee handbook is not something that gets a lot of attention. But for those of you in HR that still have one, why not take a look at it now? Give it a read as this is what you present to your new hires. Is it still relevant? Are the policies outdated? Does it refer to people and things that no longer exist? Why not take the opportunity to update it during this slower period?

What about you guys? Any other suggestions for ways to make optimal use of work time during the holiday slow down season? As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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