December 2013 ~ Magic in the Merry!
December 2013 – Magic in the Merry!
This morning as I was thinking about what theme to use for the December article this year, I was reminded of something that had puzzled me many years ago. One year, we noticed that we had higher production in December each year. That wasn’t so unusual except for the fact that we worked far few hours every December as we were always closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day. How was it possible to do far more in far fewer working hours? Considering that we were doing holiday parties and other not-so-strictly-work activities added to the mystery, then I forgot about it, until now.
Today, the answer hit me. There is Magic in the Merry! Starting in late November when we celebrate Thanksgiving into the December holiday season, most folks are thinking about the holidays — enjoying their family more, appreciating the special people in their lives and doing more things for others. Therefore, they get their work done much more efficiently than they do in the other months — therefore, there is overall higher productivity.
It is a known fact that productivity is higher during times when everyone is focusing their energy in the same way for a common goal. We have seen that in times of war – when everyone is focused on a common goal. We saw it in the lead-up to the year 2000, when many thousands of computers had to be reprogrammed, and they were done in record time, without the predicted disasters.
We have seen the power of a committed team tackling a very big project – like putting a man on the Moon.
A true story: When I was in elementary school, a visiting scientist at our school told us that if we lived a very long time (like well into our 70s), we might see a man go to the Moon. Less than twenty years later, I watched the first Moon landing from my living room — 50 years sooner than that scientist had predicted. All because President John F. Kennedy had a grander vision, then gave a challenge to Congress, NASA and the country to make it happen. And, happen it did!
When many people move together for a common, shared goal they believe in, productivity is highly increased.
We don't have to go to war to be highly productive. It happens every year during the holiday season. Productivity increases and at the same time, so much is done for others that the benefits cannot even be measured. People give gifts to those they care about. People give gifts to untold strangers in the form of donations to charities, local church projects or local community projects. The economy benefits in the form of increased sales, additional temporary employment and increased production of many goods and services.
"Black Friday" gets its name because that is when most retail businesses get into the black instead of the red on their balance sheets.
Average people donate to charities large and small, and other worthy causes every week. They donate money. They donate food. They donate gifts and they donate their time. And, they donate their energy through positive thoughts and wishes. During the holiday season, that desire to give shows up much more strongly in a unified way.
Notice that when any local disaster happens, how many people show up to help. Notice how much money pours in right away from around the country or around the world.
When people are happy and feeling good, they are much more productive than when they are feeling stressed or unhappy.
The secret to high productivity is simple: help employees feel happy and good about themselves and what they are doing.
This holiday season, make sure there are opportunities in the workplace for people to enjoy each other through holiday gatherings and projects to help others. Make sure there are ways everyone can show their appreciation for all that life has given them in whatever ways are most appropriate. Companies and managers who support such efforts reap the benefits in higher productivity, even though employees may be working fewer hours. The benefits carry over into the overall morale of the workforce so that happy employees work better in the other months also.
If you are a manager or executive and have thoughts that employees are having too much fun at work, relax!! And, know that they are much more productive when they are happy.
This month, we wish you joy and happiness - to see, feel and know the Magic in the Merry! in your workplace and in your life. No matter what you do or where you work, find time to have fun and to share your abundance with others. That’s when Everyone Wins.
ps: We want to acknowledge that not everyone is happy during the holidays. Sometimes, life is tough and people have trouble coping with whatever is happening for them. If you know someone in this situation and they are willing to accept help, that's great. If not, let them be where they are and don't try to force them to be happy or to join in the merriment at this time. Their time will come when they are ready and able.
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Page updated: October 16, 2023
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