The 2012 business year is coming to a close very soon. While there is still a lot of time left, invoicing for 2012 taxes is probably limited if not past. Most invoices sent at this point, will more than likely be paid in 2013. Paying bills before the end of the year will probably be driven between a combination of dictated payment terms and balancing tax exemptions between this year and next. One item on the year-end list of things to do, however, is recognizing your staff. If you havent done it already, there is no time like the present to reflect on the past year performance and general experiences. Things such as employee recognition, Company Town Halls, dinners, and company parties are all typically in action during this time of the year. It is good to celebrate the successes, evaluate the failures, reward those who had a great impact to the organization, and establish the appropriate strategy for next year.
In the employee recognition department, it is important to realize no matter how much you feel the success of the business was solely your own doing. It is important to fully realize the impact your employees had in getting your products or services to market. While this recognition doesnt have to be costly and certainly should not bring debt to the organization, it should reflect your gratitude to their contribution. In the end, dont simply ignore them, as recognition is good collaboration and just good business. If your idea of employee recognition is an offsite dinner that includes alcohol, I would strongly urge you to think again and only include non-alcoholic beverages. More people lose their jobs at offsite parties then you may realize. Plus you have to consider the responsibility or liability should something go horribly wrong during or after the party. The goal should be to recognize the employees hard work and contribution to the organization. It should be a showing of gratitude leading to improved working relationships and everyone returning to work with a renewed sense of appreciation.
On the company leadership side, the same recognition should be warranted. Granted for salary level positions, bonuses and other forms of monetary appreciation are often utilized. If this is the case, it is important to keep the level of appreciation proportional to the level of specific performance success, along with amount of effort, the individual has had. This individual performance must also be coupled with the overall organizational performance. Again, the reward must match the effort, success, and business achievements. There are many ways to track, record, and asses this, just make certain it is fair across the board and between all entities within the organization. Regarding offsite dinners and parties, my statements above apply. The urgent statement made above, in this regard, is an even stronger urgency. Typically the comfort level amongst salary employees seems to elevate, adding an increased risk of improprieties. It simply is not worth losing a good employee. Ive seen good business leaders make tough and successful business decisions, only to destroy working relationships with a poor decisions on a recognition dinner format and function.
As a business leader, dont forget about the staff of employees that helped to drive the business direction. Granted, if the business is successful, it is a contribution from all that makes it so. If it is a failure, it is only leadership that is at fault. Give recognition where it is due. Be smart about the type, format, and level of recognition given. The urge might be to throw a grand event, but there must be a balance between the objective for recognition, the expense of it, and the format for which it is given. If good business practices are done throughout the year with periodic gratitude, this end of year becomes easier. A simple thank you during the year goes a long way towards periodic recognition. Make the year-end memorable from an appreciation perspective and set the stage for the coming year of challenges.