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How to end the year on a good note

Winding up 365 (or sometimes 366) days of consistent performances and results in your professional life is both equally important and gratifying. And while a new year symbolizes new beginnings, the transition into the new year has to be smooth enough to ensure a strong start. With the new year just a little under three months away, here are a few things for organizations and working professionals to keep in mind and accordingly implement to end the year on a good note-

A team that eats together, stays together

Halfway through a typically busy day at work, one barely finds time to sit down and enjoy their lunch, often gulping it all down sitting at their own desks. Team lunches are excellent catalysts in building stress relief and morale among employees, also ensuring great productivity at the workplace. As the long calendar year winds to a close, organizing a team lunch for everyone at work is a delicious culmination to the year. Team lunches can be held at restaurants around the workplace, or even at work itself.  We’re talking- potluck team lunches, catering or even a live barbecue station at work for a much needed refuel before the new year takes off.

Awards are the best rewards 

There are innumerable kinds of motivations employees seek in the workplace to maintain a good performance. Among these, recognitions are effective and feasible in strengthening employee motivation. And what better time than the end of the year to sincerely acknowledge your workforce for all the great work they’ve done over the year? While recognizing key achievements of certain employees for specific projects is essential, it is also important to recognize everyone at work to ensure the overall team morale is intact, leading into the new year. These can be done via informal award ceremonies at the workplace or even as part of a New Year’s Eve party. Personalization is key here, highlighting all achievements of all employees, big or small is guaranteed to make them feel extra special.  As far as the actual award itself goes, there are plenty of solutions which aren’t necessarily monetary in nature- a plaque or a certificate with employee name and recognition details or even corporate discounts or vouchers are more than adequate.

To travel is to bond

Nearly every second inspirational quote one comes across these days has a travel undertone to it. Yes, travel is the answer when you sometimes don’t know what the question is. And while we know that Christmas and NYE are hot spots when it comes to planning a getaway with family and friends, we still believe that a short day-trip with your co-employees can be added to the itinerary. Such short excursions from the workplace are instrumental in enhancing team cohesion as well as informal networking especially in larger organizations. Such opportunities are also perfect platforms to implement team building exercises and games in a relaxed environment. Moreover, ending the professional year with such day trips also contribute towards building a lasting corporate image of the organization/workplace, highlighting a healthy culture blending both work and leisure.

To the community, with love

While we have focused on employee empowerment and betterment in the previous recommendations of this article, there is also an option that results in empowering and bettering the society around us. Community service as part of an end-of-year program for any workplace is indeed a gratifying and useful way to conclude a fruitful professional year. Be it a clean-up of a public place in the premises of the workplace, or even a visit to a hospital or an orphanage to donate food, clothing and other essentials, community service programs would ideally take just a few hours’ time from a typical day at work and can be wrapped up in a day or two. Ironically, it also symbolizes a sense of hope and goodwill, two elements everyone looks forward to in a new year.

Party it away

We’ve kept the most obvious choice for last. Nobody can say no to a party- especially not at the workplace where you spend a lion’s share of your lives. End-of-year parties are a great way to instill a feeling of togetherness among employees.  More importantly, planning and executing the party demands teamwork and cohesion from employees- easily among the most enjoyable ‘work projects’ there is. Themes for work parties are plenty, ranging from karaoke and trivia night to cocktails and casino-themed parties for one and all. Of course, no office party is complete without a small token of appreciation for employees to take back home and remember the evening by. After all, a fantastic professional year deserves an equally fantastic sundowner, for an even more fantastic start to the new year.