CEO tips for staying on task

It's holiday time, and many offices are starting to look like ghost towns. Do you take advantage of that skeleton staff by having more fun, or is time to get organized for 2012?

We asked some business leaders to share their tips for motivating workers who are stuck at the office when most people take the day off.

"I try to make it fun for the employees who are there," said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of Mycorporation.com. "I want them to feel upbeat and engaged. I try to keep them focused with food, and then they get excited. Sometimes people even ask to work holidays because it's just a few people and I think some people prefer to have the smaller group. Plus it's a good way to get extra hours."

"This is a huge issue," said Arlene Johnson, business expert and author of "Success Mapping: Achieve What You Want … Right Now!" "I try to encourage people to take this time and get ahead. Take a look at your year and the goals you've set, see which were successful and which did you fall short on. Are there any changes happening in the organization? Then set your course for new goals. But be sure to challenge your expectations of what you can do and what your team can do. Challenge yourself to a higher level. Someone else is already doing it, so why not you? Why not your company? Just reacting is not exciting for talent. But being proactive so you can map change — that's what it's about."

"We do everything from contests and raffles to potlucks," said Kelly Culler, senior vice president of global human capital for TeleTech, a customer strategy and technology company. "The management team might be making dinner for the front line. It's whatever we can do to increase camaraderie. We'll have TVs and put on whatever football game people care about. Sometimes we'll ask the staff what they want to do that day and they vote. … It's also important in management to be flexible about hours if things are under control."

"Often, we think of the holidays in terms of spending time with family and friends — but don't overlook the power of building strategic workplace relationships to kick-start career growth in the new year," said Mike Hyter, president of Global Novations, a talent management consulting firm. "Use this time to take a colleague or manager to coffee, or reach out to contacts who may help you build new skills or new relationships that can help lay the foundation for further development of your career."

"We don't pretend that it's a normal time of year and 'business as usual' because we know that it's not," said John Cerasani, CEO of Northwest Comprehensive, an employee insurance and benefits company. "The holidays are a special time of the year full of social gatherings and activities. We work as a team and balance time off so we are never operating in a skeleton environment. I also emphasize to all of our employees that our clients are still in need of our services this time of year and 2012 won't be that 'merry' if we don't have any clients to service."

jweigel@tribune.com

Twitter: @jenweigel

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.

Comments
Loading