Who hasn’t heard of the 12 Days of Christmas – the song with all of the strange gifts! This Christmas, there are 12 gifts you can give to your team – gifts that they would both want and appreciate.
1. Peace: Every employee would greatly appreciate a safe and non-toxic work environment. This gift costs nothing to you but will mean a lot to others.
2. Trust: Few things encourage a team member more than entrusting something to them – a special assignment, appropriate yet sensitive information, a promotion… Spread trust!
3. Joy: A fun workplace can be both highly productive and also healthy for everyone. Spread joy rather than anger, cynicism, and control.
4. Appreciation: You can be assured your team would love for you to show them you really value them and their contribution.
5. Communication: How many employees feel out of the flow of information, not really knowing what is going on? TOO MANY! Let them know more about what is happening.
6. A Meal: Eating together is a great way to build a sense of community with those around you, and it will also provide opportunities for additional communication.
7. Prayer: While not everyone has an interest in religion, many appreciate it when someone is praying for them, especially when life gets hard and bumpy.
8. Guidance: Although not every person wants input from a leader, many do. Take time to ask them, “How can I be of help to you?”
9. Empathy: Taking a moment to stop and think about the life and circumstances of another person will not only encourage them, it will help you know how to serve them.
10. Vulnerability: Do you feel like you have to always be “on” and never let your guard down? That is the opposite of what your team wants. So share the gift of vulnerability.
11. Feedback: Do your people really know if they are meeting your goals and expectations? Be assured, they want to know! So tell them.
12. A Gift: Christmas is ultimately about giving to others without it being earned or deserved. This is what was provided to us over 2,000 years ago in Jesus. While we were lost and hopeless, God gave us Jesus – the one who provides both rescue and hope. While our gifts cannot match this, we should give to others because of how much God has given to us. So don’t be cheesy or cheap!
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of organizational assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Design from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from The Union Institute.