As the end of a very strange year comes rapidly into focus, it’s now time to prepare for the upcoming holidays and set the pace for the year ahead.
What can you do to prepare your practice for Christmas? What do you need to formulate for the year ahead before a well-deserved break?
Recognise your team
Now’s the time to take a moment and check in with your team. Team culture is increasingly important as remote working comes into play.
What can you do to maintain your relationship with your valued employees and give them some recognition for a year of work?
- If restrictions allow – organise a team lunch.
- Send a gift basket to your remote team members.
- If finances allow – a small bonus or gift card is always welcome.
- Organise an online or offline team activity.
- Send a personalised email or message to thank them for their specific contributions.
Whatever you can do that makes sense for your firm, the small investment in celebrating your team at this time of year does wonders for employee engagement and retention.
Retaining your employees and recognising their achievement will in turn make you a stronger firm. It doesn’t take much.
Delight your clients
As with your team, it’s important to recognise your client base and reach out to them to maintain your relationship.
A little ‘schmoozing’ can go a long way to retaining clients and strengthening your ongoing relationship.
What can you do to connect with your clients during the holidays and ready your business relationship for the year ahead?
- Take them out for a lunch or dinner.
- Send personalised messages and communicate holiday closures.
- Organise a team event – even for early next year to keep the future bright.
- Send a well thought out gift such as wine, high quality hampers, or something you know that individual would like, to display your connection.
- Gift them some free consulting hours.
- Ask about their own holiday plans and closures.
Make plans for your systems and workflow next year
Now is the time to take stock of how you do work.
When things are in full swing, it can be difficult to find time for system and workflow reviews.
So, if you have a quiet period on your hands, now is the time to interrogate your tools and methodologies to seek out new efficiencies and kill off outmoded or lengthy ways to work.
For example, have you considered using the new APS Workspace? Small additions like this one window control panel for all your tools will tighten and streamline the way your team works.
Be abundantly clear about contact and closures
Will your whole team be taking leave? Will you have certain staff members on hand? Be very clear about telegraphing your opening hours and team capacity over the holiday period.
If a client needs you and you haven’t clarified what capacity or parameters your firm will have in place, you can damage your client’s confidence and satisfaction in you.
When you send a holiday email or message to your clients, kill two birds with one stone and lay this out.
You must also be clear with your team to put in place ‘out of office’ replies and confirm expectations of contact.
Tying up loose ends
As part of your outreach to clients, be sure to place emphasis on what they have coming up and if there’s any deliverables or work upcoming or outstanding.
There may be a task that can be wrapped up or some planning to do for any client work early next year.
By tying up loose ends and having discussions around next year’s focuses, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running after the break.
It’s not all about work – to be in a positive mindset and prepped for the new year, take some serious time out for yourself. Get some R&R and be sure to switch off for a while.
To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.