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Reflecting And Rewarding For The Year That Was

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Reflecting And Rewarding For The Year That Was

The end of the year is the perfect time for reflecting on the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the past year.

It’s also a time for rewarding, both your team and yourself.

Reflecting on the year that was for you

Take time out to sit quietly by yourself and re-live the past year. You may need to pull out your calendar or diary to jog your memory.

Go through the year month by month. For the good times, put yourself back in that situation and feel that same excitement and joy you felt at the time. 

For the downright ugly times, look back on them now with a view to what you learnt from them. Don’t dwell on the negative, find the lesson learnt or the benefit that came after as a result of the situation or event. 

Once I’ve done my month by month review, I delve into the wins

I do this with my quarterly planners on hand. I flick through the pages to the weekly summaries where I’ve listed my wins for the week. Again, I focus in on not only what it was but how I felt at the time. The anticipation, the excitement, the joy and the pride. I relive those moments and remind myself of just how much I’ve achieved in twelve short months.

Reflecting on the year that was for your team

Then repeat the same process for each member of your team. What were their good, bad and uglies? What were the lessons they learnt or should have learnt? And what were their wins? Did you celebrate their wins with them?

Rewarding your team

The end of the calendar year is often a time to be generous to your team by giving them a bonus for a job well done. When I first got a bonus, my understanding was that it was not only a thank you for my work, but it was given to help defray the extra costs of the holidays. Whether that was travelling costs to go home, costs of presents or even a holiday somewhere else.

Over time, I think we’ve forgotten what the intent of the bonus was. And remember, unless you are crystal clear about it being a one-off, once you pay a bonus once, the team will expect a bonus every year. Not only that, but they will expect the amount to be at least as much if not more than the year before.

The challenge arises when you’ve had a tough cash flow year. Because if you’re paying bonuses to your team, you need to have the money to pay them.

It’s really hard to tell your staff that they won’t get a bonus this year because you don’t have the money to pay them out, especially when they’ve done a great job and deserve the reward.

Rewards don’t need to be cash payments. There are other ways of rewarding which have been detailed in this article by Pam Macdonald.

Don’t forget that you may also need to be paying annual leave to your team in December for wages you’d normally pay in January. This of itself can cause a cash flow crisis.

Rewarding yourself

Yes, I can hear you saying, like the oxygen mask in a plane, you need to look after yourself before you look after others. But what I see with the clients I work with, is the desire to reward the team first and themselves last. 

Remember to find a way to reward yourself too. If you don’t have the money, give yourself the gift of time. Time to do something you love, time out from the stress and worry of running your business, time with your family, time to read a book, or time to just sit.

It’s time to celebrate another year in business. It’s time to reflect on the year and reward those who deserve rewarding, including yourself. This year is the end of a decade too.

Think how much has changed over the ten years in your business, with your family, your community and the world. There’s lots to reflect on and to celebrate.

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