Some of us cringe a little when we see that 3-word hyphenated adjective. It means the pressure is on to meet those quarterly and annual goals, to close out the year, and to set the vision for next year.
It packs a punch.
That’s why we make a list. And now we’re sharing it with you. Feel free to peruse our list descriptions and suggestions, but we won’t be offended if you skip to the good part to just download the interactive list. *wink wink*
Still reading? Awesome. Here’s how we close out each year at Envoc to make the next year even better.
1. Appreciate the people that make it happen
Employee appreciation looks different for every company. Whether your company has Christmas bonuses or the office throws its own party each year, make sure you make an effort to appreciate your employees.
At Envoc, we have a company Christmas party every year at our CEO’s house. It’s a casual, catered event where the company provides everyone’s favorite drink and a professional photo booth. We also exchange gifts through Secret Santa.
Here are a few ideas of how you can appreciate your team:
- Giving an end-of-year bonus or gift card.
- Implement an awards program.
- Give structured bonuses.
- Involve them in vision planning for the next year.
- Close the office early, and take your team to lunch.
- Write specific thank you cards (including a gift card is a nice addition).
- Throw a Christmas party for your employees and their families.
2. Appreciate the people who keep you in business
Client appreciation should be part of the customer experience. Your customers and partners are the reason you are in business, so a Thanksgiving or Christmas gift is an encouraged gesture of appreciation.
Our client experience journey includes donuts, lots and lots of coffee, open houses, and sometimes a special invitation to dinner. We also fancy a handwritten card from the whole team, just to say “thank you” and celebrate a new project release. Every Christmas, we send thoughtful cards and shareable gifts to our clients and their teams.
Here are a few ideas to appreciate your clients:
- Order customized (and useful) gifts.
- Sign and send thank you and/or holiday cards.
- Publish a social media greeting.
- Send a bottle of wine to your top clients.
- Simply call to wish your client a Merry Christmas.
You know your clients best. The key to making a lasting impact with a client appreciation gift is to make it something they’ll find valuable and thoughtful.
3. Encourage your team as the new year rolls around
The holidays can be difficult for some people, and the start of a new year can be daunting. Keep this in mind as you find the best ways to encourage your team, individually and company-wide.
Anne M. Mulcahy said it best, “Employees are a company's greatest asset - they're your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company's mission.”
Here are a few ways to encourage your team:
- Start a company newsletter.
- Give a personal employee review.
- Write specific, handwritten thank you notes.
- Leave post-its of encouragement on employees’ desks.
- Give a thoughtful toast at the office Christmas party.
- Make long-needed changes that will improve job satisfaction.
4. Have a marketing plan with goals in place
Marketing takes on its own unique form in every company, whether you have a marketing department, a vendor (like us!) who handle it for you, or one person who does it all. No matter how marketing is done in your company, it’s important to measure your efforts from last year and carry those lessons into the new year.
Even though the tech industry changes almost daily, our marketing plans remain consistent. We have annual goals that are broken into quarterly objectives, and then executed in biweekly iterations. This allows us the overarching vision to drive our efforts, while giving us the flexibility to go off script when we need to.
Here are a few ways to shape up your marketing plan for the end of the year:
- Measure what your marketing efforts were able to achieve this year.
- What worked well?
- What didn’t work as well?
- What do you need to achieve next year?
- What needs to happen in Q1 of next year?
- Of those, what needs to happen in January?
5. Take a moment to evaluate goals
This is where the end of the year can get overwhelming; however, taking time to reflect on the past year can motivate us for the next. It’s all about perspective. If you didn’t reach certain goals, why not? What goals did you excel in and why? What did you achieve in the past year that wasn’t planned?
One thing some of us at Envoc do is keep a list of “wins.” Any time we achieve a certain result, make significant progress, or succeed in a task, we write it down in a list.
Here are a few ways to evaluate your goals:
- List company goals that were achieved.
- List employee goals that were achieved.
- List personal goals you achieved.
- What goals weren’t met and why?
- What goals will carry into the new year?
- What goals would you like to accomplish in the new year?
We hope this list has been helpful. At Envoc, the core of our mission is to create a better reality for you, your company, and your clients, as well as our own Envoceans. Usually we do this through custom software and product marketing, but sometimes it’s through business consultation and technical expertise.
If Envoc can create a better reality for you in the coming year, now’s the time to start the conversation. We’re ready to listen.
In the meantime, enjoy this downloadable, interactive checklist!