This is the time of year when we all think of getting our loved ones the perfect gift, and let’s be real – we’d like to receive thoughtful gifts as well. As a child, I hoped for certain gifts during the holidays, occasionally throwing a hint out if it seemed subtle enough, but I NEVER specifically ASKED for a particular gift.
Years later, my husband’s family passed out blank Christmas lists at Thanksgiving, and it was amazing. I loved that everyone asked for what they wanted without any worry! Like a kid, I enjoyed filling it out each year; every available line was filled out, even sometimes with catalogue page numbers. Nowadays, there are websites to make it even handier to shop. I have learned to ask for what I want. Our family list has three sections.
- Stocking Stuffers
- Things Under the Tree
- Big Gifts
So it’s that time of year, and you probably know what you’d like to find in your stocking at home, but what about at work? What is on your list, and will you ask for it?
Here are some suggestions for your Work Wish List:
Stocking Stuffers (free or pocket change)
- Enlist your supervisor to schedule regular meetings to discuss goals and provide career advice.
- Get a mentor. This developmentally-oriented relationship, typically between a senior colleague and a more junior colleague, will provide free but priceless guidance for navigating your way through the organization and your profession.
- Ask to work core hours and have flexibility on either side, or a compressed workweek.
- Make a business case to work from home on certain days.
- Lobby for a wellness fair or a “Walk-it Wednesday,” where people meet to get some exercise.
- Suggest a walking meeting.
Things Under the Tree (not a huge ticket)
- Recruit an intern through your local university or community college, usually for $10-15 per hour. Make sure that you are providing them with a meaningful experience, not just grunt work.
- Hire a consultant for projects. For example, FLSA threshold changes require compliance that takes expertise and time to get the work done. It’s not all about exempt and non-exempt status; job descriptions and titles may need tweaking as well.
- Tools to do your job more efficiently. HR professionals may need an HRIS or ATS (applicant tracking system), which should save the company time and money.
- Consider outsourcing certain projects that require expertise or an outside perspective.
- Want to find out who’s naughty and nice? 360 surveys are great tools for uncovering issues in the workplace, and a third party is much better positioned to get real feedback and deliver it in a meaningful way.
Learning and Development Opportunities
- Attend a conference or event that relates to your field
- Organize a series of “Lunch and Learns;” hire outside experts for topics such as Time Management, StrengthsFinder, and Leveraging Creativity.
- Purchase e-learning tools, which are green, cost effective, and available 24/7.
Big Gifts (an investment)
- Make a business case for additional staff. An HR Director can use metrics that show ROI on doing recruiting internally.
- External coaching is a great investment for the company and the individual. This is usually done with an experienced or certified consultant/coach.
- Executive coaching supports managers in mastering the principles and practices for achieving powerful results individually and empowering their staff as well, most effective when done by an external consultant.
Invest in me!
- Obtain a certification that relates to your field.
- Ask for tuition reimbursement for classes or a degree that relates to your job.
- Propose continuing education classes.
Do you work for Scrooge? Are you worried about the big-ticket items on your list? Here are a few ideas to show them the light:
- Make a business case showing the ROI.
- Suggest that you’ll pay it forward by teaching what you learn to fellow staff or by mentoring someone more junior.
- Offer to sign a Repayment Obligation Agreement, where you would repay the cost if you voluntarily leave the organization within a certain amount of time.
So this holiday season, don’t be afraid to ask. The Good Book actually encourages us to ask in Matthew 7:7.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”