Fourth quarter, arguably the most daunting time of year for any company, has been unsparing to all of us at some time or another. There’s the closing of new deals, renewing of old business, and setting up your pipeline for the following fiscal year, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Finding ways to balance it all without feeling overwhelmed or stressed is where things get a little shaky.
Knowing all too well the demands that come with fourth quarter, the OneDigital Houston office decided to shake things up this go-round. We caught up with Shelli Dean, Senior Benefits Consultant out of the Houston office, to get the inside scoop.
It was during a dinner conversation at OneDigital’s recent Retention and Growth summit that the need to break up the monotony of Q4 became the topic of conversation. “We all knew it was right around the corner, and we knew we needed to find a way to keep morale at a high,” says Shelli. “We started brainstorming ideas that would aid in having a kinder, gentler quarter and not so tense and stressful like in years past.”
So what did they do?
Embrace the season
Being fully engulfed in your daily Q4 routines, it’s common to lose sight of the small things happening around you. Take the transition of seasons for instance. The weather’s breaking, leaves are changing and the undeniable aroma of pumpkin-spice is just about everywhere you turn. Instead of brushing it off, embrace it. Houston gave their office an extreme makeover with festive autumn and Halloween décor. A few plastic pumpkins, some decorative leaves, a couple of spooky skeletons and fake spiders, and an assortment of other decorations was all it took. Needless to say, it was a hit with the office, sparking conversations that interrupted the usual chatter of renewal rates and deadlines.
Small tokens of appreciation
Sure, there’s still some time left before it’s officially gift-giving season, but it’s never too early to show your appreciation for your colleagues. The Houston office organized a fun game of “Undercover Apparition,” a Halloween take on the traditional anonymous gift exchange, Secret Santa. Everyone enjoys getting a gift, and it doesn’t need to be big or flashy to show your colleague that you’re appreciative of the hard work they’re doing.
Cooking up the competition
Competition has always served as a great motivator in any office, tapping into people’s natural competitive drive. Add food to the equation and a good time is sure to be had. Next up on Houston’s Q4 agenda is a chili cook-off to get things stirred up. Even if you’re not the best at making chili, there’s always a need for judges. Shelli shared how this is a great way for the entire office to engage with each other, not as consultants or account managers, but as people just having a good time.
So what’s the moral of this story?
Finding a way to push through the onslaught fourth quarter brings is no easy feat. But imagine how less stressed you would be if instead of letting time crunches and renewals get the best of you, you took a cue from some of our local offices, and mixed things up this Q4. Other plans for the Houston office include a game of White Elephant (crazy sock edition) and a team outing to a private cooking class. The ideas are endless, and there’s still time to organize something fun for your office before welcoming a new year.