What absence at the Christmas party says about your leadership

The Leading Edge Christmas Party this year was the usual jolly affair – good food, good banter and more spangles than are found on the Strictly dancefloor on a Sunday morning.  Despite there being more than 20 of the team in party hats, we still had a fair number of noticeable absences.

While client needs in Stockholm or Ireland had to take precedence for some, for others it was the challenge of juggling family festive commitments – who can miss the nativity play of their 6 year old or their 10 year olds final Christmas assembly?

A recent CIPD survey identified that 37% of full time employees decided not to attend work festivities. Interestingly, while most of our absentees would quote the second given reason – “the date clashed with family duties (24%)”, I was surprised to see the main reason survey respondees gave was that they “wanted to keep work and home life separate” (41%).

What a pity.  We believe real engagement happens when every individual “brings me” to work – can we truly do that if we’re trying to keep work and home separate?

Encouraging every individual to be their authentic self at home and at work is surely the core purpose of a great leader. 

It’s that alignment, along with alignment to the company’s culture and vision that builds a stress free working environment, in which individuals can contribute to their personal and organization’s success.  Wouldn’t creating that for every individual be a great aspiration for 2016 for leader’s everywhere?

As we grow as a business, we know we’ll probably never get a ‘full house’ at our Christmas shindig… but for as long as that’s only a choice made due to nativities, carol services and pantomines, we’ll know we’re creating and maintaining the culture we’re proud of.

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and peaceful 2016.