If you are the manager of a unit, company or organization there is a good chance that you will have to give a New Years’ speech the coming week. So what are some of the pitfalls you might want to avoid? Here is our top three of ‘things not to do’ for your new years speech.
1. Don’t focus on lessons learned and results from last year.
The time to recap and look at lessons learned is at the end of the year, now it is time to move forward. Do not remind them of the mistakes of the past but show them the opportunities of the future. You want your people to look at 2014 as a year of opportunity. Sometimes all people need is a clean slate that will allow their imagination to kick in and find new creative working methods.
2. Don’t focus on details but show them a vision
The purpose of a New Years address is to motivate. Your employees do not need to know the precise plans of the management now, they need to feel that the management is behind them. Think of the key values that your organization stands for and explain how you will bring those into practice both in and outside the organization the coming year. The time for implementation will come, now is the time for vision!
3. Don’t focus on ‘them’ but on ‘us’
Managers have a tendency to tell their staff ‘they’ are doing a great job. Although this is a nice thing in general, the language for a New Years address should be inclusive. By talking about ‘them’ you place yourself outside the context. Sometimes this is necessary for a manager but not now. Your job now is to create shared ownership so they will feel part of a bigger organization. Speak about common goals and shared ideas. Don’t talk to them, but about us.