End-of-year meeting:How to host a great end of year meeting

End-of-Year Meeting: How to Make Yours Remarkable

Are you looking to host an end-of-year meeting? Think past the PowerPoint recap and look for ways to make yours remarkable.

In one way or another, your team has had an incredible year.

Fill in the blank: It was incredibly ________(successful, challenging, stressful, unusual). Maybe you’re remarkably proud of all you accomplished.  Maybe you got thrown a crazy curveball that derailed all your plans.  Or perhaps you just can’t wait for the calendar to turn over and start again.

Your team’s feeling it too. Don’t throw the opportunity to pause and reflect out with the holiday wrappings. Carve out time to talk about what you learned in an end-of-year meeting.

It’s tempting to have a “no one talks about work” luncheon, do the secret Santa thing, and have a few giggles. Or, to jump right into planning for the new year, “after all the past is behind us.” The best meetings build both results and relationships, and an end-of-year meeting done remarkably well sets the stage for thoughtful reflection and a more energized start to the new year.

How to Have a Remarkable End-of-Year Meeting

Make a CAREful plan and have your best end-of-year meeting ever.

C- Celebrate 

Celebrate both results and the human beings who achieved them.  Be sure your team knows the Most Important Things (MIT) they accomplished in terms of both results and building relationships. For example, it’s not just the 28% increase in efficiency, it’s also that they improved the contentious relationship with IT that made the collaboration possible.

If you’re doing formal recognition, resist the urge to just pick the top three by the numbers of a stack rank. Consider HOW the results were achieved. There’s nothing more demoralizing to a team than seeing their boss recognize some bozo who gamed and back-stabbed his way to the top. If there’s any chance your team will be texting one another “WTF” when an award is given, supplement your criteria to include behaviors that matter.

A-Acknowledge

Acknowledge the disappointments. and what you could have done better. Talk about the effort that may not have paid off the way you would have hoped, and celebrate what did.  When we ask our audiences  “What’s one thing you feel underappreciated for at work” the number one answer is always, “The time I spend developing my people.” Acknowledge that too.

R-Renew

Do something to refresh and renew. One year one of my sales managers took his team bird watching in the local park, before digging into their strategic review. Another year I hired a caricature artist to do a composite sketch of the team. Another time, we had a white elephant exchange, but instead of wacky presents, each member of the team brought their favorite business book– people were stealing from one another right and left, and the side effect was a lot of strategic reading and dialogue happening that year. Most years at Verizon, I brought my team to my home for a planning session followed by a dinner celebration. Find some way to refresh and have some fun along with the reflection and planning.

E-Engage

Engage the team. Ask each team member to reflect on their own contributions in terms of results and relationships this year, as well as disappointments.

If you’re holding a small meeting with just your direct reports give them time to share. If you’re hosting a larger event, there are lots of fun ways to engage and capture reflections, from sticky notes and grouping themes; to “best of”/”worst of” reflections on index cards collected at the beginning and sorted into themes; to simple polling texting apps, with results projected immediately on the screen.

Find a way to get your team’s best view of the year into the conversation.

2020-2021 Virtual Meetings Update

If you’re looking to host a 2020 End-of-year meeting or planning a virtual kick-off meeting to start the new year, you won’t want to miss Virtual Kick-off Meeting: Why You Should Have One and How to Make it Great.

And our interview in Authority Magazine: Karin Hurt and David Dye of ‘Let’s Grow Leaders’: 5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Run a Live Virtual Event

Plan a Fast Start to Your New Year

Operational Excellence RalliesGet your team off to a fast-start.  Learn more about our Let’s Grow Leaders Operational Excellence Rallies. Let us help you and your team have a remarkable fast start to the new year.  We’d love to talk more about how we can custom-design a one or two-day strategic working session with high ROI.

See Also: How to Hold a Motivational Meeting

The Secret to Great Skip Level Meetings

Avoid This Infuriating Phrases in End-oof Year Feedback

4 U.G.L.Y. Conversations to Have With Your Team Before Year-End

Posted in Executive Development, Winning Well and tagged , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells - building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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