Productive Pressure End of the year Sprint Featured Image

The 60-Day Dash: A New Approach to Year-End Success

When it’s time to close the books for the year, it’s easy to feel worried, nervous or stressed about how you’ll finish. But the last sprint to the yearly finish line also can represent a time of tremendous focus, clarity and tenacity – if you approach it the right way.

Here’s how you can make the most of a final, year-end sprint with your team.

✅ Do a 60-day sprint instead of the 90-day version

✅ Harness positive energy

✅ Set realistic goals

✅ Involve your team

✅ End with a celebration

Let’s explore these tactics a bit more.

Do a 60-day dash instead of the 90-day sprint

You may already know my feelings about the 90-day sprint – it’s a great way to dial up the pressure for your team in a healthy and productive way.

But what about a 60-day dash?

If you’re nearing your fiscal year deadline, 60 days is still plenty of time to crush some impactful goals.

And by focusing on short-term achievements, you can concentrate on small, manageable wins that still move the needle for you.

As with any sprint, start by clarifying the goal(s) you’re working toward.

Make sure everyone understands the ultimate finish line and what they need to do to get there – and ensure they have the necessary resources.

Then, make sure they know the lines of communication are open.

Have short, regular check-ins along the way – NOT meetings – quick check-ins on Slack can ensure that everyone stays on track.

Your role as leader is to make sure you remove any roadblocks that come up – so your team needs to know you’re ready and willing to do that as needed.

Harness positive energy

Your team will always look to you to set the tone.

If you seem worried about whether you’ll finish the year strong, chances are they’ll also experience a crisis of confidence.

But – if you engage with your team in a positive, optimistic manner, it’s likely they’ll find your positive energy infectious.

While it’s important to remind your team of their upcoming deadlines, do so in a spirit of collaboration – let them know you’re all in this together, and that you have every confidence the team is up to whatever task is before them.

Show them that you’re willing to help provide the support, resources, and coaching they need to be successful.

You might be surprised at how often – and how impressively – your team will rise to a challenge if they feel like you believe in them.

Set realistic goals

It’s always important to be realistic with your goals, but this is never more true than at the end of the year.

Don’t let large, ambitious goals that sound great but are simply unfeasible drive the process.

This is an ideal time to re-examine the overarching goals of your yearly plan – sometimes we set goals that are simply unreachable because of unexpected variance in the market.

Or – you may find that your initial goals were too timid and that you’d like to push your team toward higher achievement.

In any case, make sure you’re conferring with your team members about what’s feasible and realistic from their perspective. Buy-in is even more important at crunch time!

Let them help you adjust any goals as necessary.

Involve your team

The end of the year can feel stressful.

Everyone on your team will feel stretched to meet their goals – and you, as the leader, have the power to create a positive and collaborative culture.

Make sure you’re communicating regularly, openly, and honestly with your team about what they need to accomplish, and encourage them to help each other.

But don’t bog down your process with too many meetings! Pull your team together as needed for brainstorming sessions and progress checks.

Reward them when they collaborate and support one another.

Depending on your culture, a fun holiday-themed contest might be appropriate – just make sure it stays light-hearted and inclusive rather than rewarding your team members simply for individual performance.

End with a celebration

No matter your results, it’s important to end your year with celebration.

Reminding your team of everything they’ve accomplished and thanking them for their commitment to your business goes a long way toward earning their continued loyalty and engagement.

In fact, celebrating your team’s wins is a powerful technique for everything from building morale and improving company culture to retaining top talent and boosting overall productivity.

Celebrating your team and showing them your appreciation has the added bonus of spurring creativity and innovation, helping ensure that you start the next year on a strong foot.

Sprinting through the end of the fiscal year represents a delicate balancing act – prioritizing performance and accountability while also providing support, encouragement and a sense of optimism.

It’s a heavy lift for any business leader, and it often requires skills that need to be honed and developed over time.

If you’d like some assistance implementing an end of year sprint in your business, I encourage you to set up a quick consultation call with me today: Book a Call with Dawn

Together, we can make it happen.

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