28 Jan 2016 / By Vanessa Gavan
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’ve returned to reality from the sparkling lights and abundance of food that comes with the holidays. Good friends, loved ones and time away from the pressure of work have hopefully left you recharged with energy for the year to come.
But coming back from this short hiatus is easier said than done. As pressure mounts as the year comes to an end, work can get rushed, putting unnecessary stress in the system as you kick off the new year. It’s important to realise that whatever state you’re coming back to, you have the ability to inspire, energise and shape the agenda quickly to help the people around you get off to a great start.
Having been back for a few weeks now, I’ve seen people clicking their heels as work rolls back around, chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of things. Others — those that have thoroughly enjoyed their time off — show up a little more lacklustre and find it challenging to get back into a daily routine. This isn’t necessarily a sign of poor commitment or a lack of engagement. Often it’s more about the person’s need to kick-start a new rhythm and bring some focus, recreating a sense of purpose to channel their energy.
As you settle back into work it’s important to reconnect on three levels with:
1. Connecting with your purpose
For me, an overarching sense of organisational and personal purpose is paramount to making me feeling happy and inspired. In settling back in this year, I quickly made the space to spend time with my leadership team on our strategy, reconnect with the great work we are doing to refresh our brand and with our team to co-create our new office design. This has helped energise me and I’m sure my team would say it has helped connect their head and heart back into the world of work.
2. Connecting with the people around you
To my mind, connecting with people is about making time and space for them to have genuine conversations and to be curious about others beyond a superficial level. There are obvious things for a leader to be aware of such as reconfirming what each person in your organisation wants from showing up to work each day. Things evolve over the holidays and peoples’ circumstances change. Human drivers are endless and it’s key to understand how they play out at an individual level.
It’s important to set the tone that everyone plays a role in creating a genuine, curious, connected culture. Embedding this type of curiosity, feedback and inspiration is cultural. We instil in each employee a sense of personal responsibility that links them beyond their own goals and KPIs to a sense of the whole and the importance of togetherness. This type of culture is incredibly helpful in supporting people who are going on or coming back from leave.
3. Connecting with the work and progress you’re collectively making
Reconnecting with the programs of work you have in progress seems obvious, but it’s about the mindset you have and your attitude toward this. Building a feeling of progress, momentum and accomplishment helps me find the energy to do more, with and through others.
THE PATH TO A GREAT NEW YEAR STARTS WITH YOU
So my question to you is “how are you showing up?” Are you bringing your best to strategically and personally inspire, empower and ultimately provide a pathway for a great 2016? If you do this, it gives everyone something to look forward to, a fresh start and a special place where they can be their best.