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
  • Donald Trump says cops should be tougher on Chicago crime

    Donald Trump says cops should be tougher on Chicago crime

    Businessman Donald Trump brought his nascent bid for the Republican presidential nomination to town Monday, warning that crime in Chicago is "out of control" and hurting the city's image worldwide.

  • South Carolina church shooting shines spotlight on media treatment of white, black suspects

    South Carolina church shooting shines spotlight on media treatment of white, black suspects

    I have been to the Grammy Awards. I have had features written about my music in Billboard, XXL, Jet and other magazines I've always loved. Oprah Winfrey told me to my face that she loves my dreads and purple eyebrows. My music is played on TV shows and movies, and I write about my opinionated views...

  • 'Magic Mike XXL' is the summer's best sequel so far

    'Magic Mike XXL' is the summer's best sequel so far

    2012’s “Magic Mike” and its sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” could have been so stupid, and I’m sure those who haven’t seen either one assume that they are. I mean, think of how cheesy a movie about male strippers could be. Based on the commercials, they barely seem like movies at all—just two-hour thrust-athons...

  • Vince Staples' sprawling double album 'Summertime '06' is relentlessly gritty

    Vince Staples' sprawling double album 'Summertime '06' is relentlessly gritty

    Vince Staples deals in pessimism, for good reason. The Long Beach rapper has seen a lot of violence and despair in his 21 years. He'll tell you about it too, in unflinching clarity that few artists his age possess. There’s little if any hope in his music. Yet even with the darkness oozing out of...

  • RedEye's favorite songs of 2015 (so far)

    RedEye's favorite songs of 2015 (so far)

    As we reach 2015's midpoint, it's clear that the year in music has been incredible, with a little bit of everything, from classic soul, rap, emo, '70s funk, grunge and scorching Southern rock to searing punk, bubblegum pop and jazz fusion. In particular, Kendrick Lamar's rap-funk masterpiece "To...

  • RedEye's 25 favorite albums of 2015 (so far)

    RedEye's 25 favorite albums of 2015 (so far)

    As we reach 2015's midpoint, it's clear that the year in music has been incredible, with a little bit of everything from classic soul, rap, emo, '70s funk, grunge and scorching Southern rock to searing punk, bubblegum pop and jazz fusion. In particular, Kendrick Lamar's rap-funk masterpiece "To...

Comments
Loading