End of year meeting: How to celebrate performance

With everyone looking forward to the Christmas break, it can be hard to keep your team motivated at this time of year.

The run-up to the festive holiday can be undeniably stressful and chaotic. Even so, holding an end of year meeting is an important milestone on the corporate calendar. A vital part of team building for businesses, it should be used to review the year’s accomplishments, challenges and lessons learned.

End of year team meeting
© PeopleImages.com – Yuri A / Shutterstock.com

What is an end of year meeting?

Despite the feeling that this year is slowly winding down, next year’s plans are already being finalised. Budgets, new initiatives and plans for product launches are already well underway.

The end of year meeting is a time to reflect on achievements over the past 12 months, focusing on the hard work and effort everyone has put in during 2023. It’s a time to take stock before the well-earned break – before starting again in 2024.

This should be different from your weekly team meetings or quarterly reflections. Coming up with a different plan and structure is a way of marking the team’s efforts.

If you hold regular weekly meetings in the office, it could be time to push the boat out and hire external business meeting rooms to recognise the occasion.

Being based in the capital will have its advantages, as meeting room hire in London offers an abundance of high-quality venues to make the occasion special.

Why host an end of year meeting?

Everyone from managers and team leaders to the most junior members of staff should be given the opportunity to voice their opinion. Invite them to give insights into the projects they’ve been involved with and show their appreciation of each other.

The advantages of face-to-face meetings are obvious, as you can organise some festive refreshments and make it more of an occasion.

Nothing beats chatting in person and celebrating every achievement. Recognising even the small wins after a tough year will put a positive slant on the occasion and leave people feeling happy before breaking up for the Christmas holiday.

It’s not only a year’s work you’re looking back at – it’s the individual efforts, teamwork, sacrifices and going above and beyond the call of duty.

How do you keep it snappy but effective?

Get creative when devising ways of discussing the business in hand. After all, it is Christmas! Put the emphasis on having fun, so no-one leaves feeling deflated.

Look at the numbers but try doing so in an interactive way. For example, rather than a presentation of endless graphs and charts, ask people to give their views on growth in their own department.

Turn it into a group exercise, rather than having one speaker giving an overall picture. Ask people about the small personal achievements that have meant a lot to them as an individual.

Don’t dwell on missed targets or failed projects. It’s acceptable to touch on them briefly, but with an upbeat slant, such as reminding the team that 2024 is a new year and a chance to redress the balance.

Try running a Q&A session, enabling you to address hot topics, clarify issues and follow up on past discussions that may have loose ends.

Open the floor to anyone who has a query and spend time answering the questions in a transparent way. Make sure you’ve allowed enough time to do this when you book the meeting room.

Look ahead to upcoming projects. There’s no need to go into great detail – leave that for Q1 of 2024. A general round-up of future plans can be a good way of winding down the meeting to complement the reflections of the past 12 months.

Working up some excitement for next year will not only keep the good momentum going but it can also leave employees feeling positive when they leave for the festive break. This means they will feel more enthusiastic about coming back in the New Year. If you’ve enjoyed the gathering in a hired meeting room, London has some fabulous restaurants and bars, where team members can carry on socialising afterwards if they choose to do so. All work and no play would make it just an ordinary meeting. This one should be special! The aim is to finish the year on a high to set the right mood for 2024.

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