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Dear Experts, I never take Black Friday off but this year I decided to so I could spend the day with family. My boss gave me permission three weeks ago to take this day off from work. He even said he was going to take it off as well. Yesterday, my boss sent me an e-mail requesting I change my plans and take Monday off instead. He says he'll be working on Friday and would prefer to have me there 'in case' he needs my help. How do I politely explain to my boss I want this day off? Is there any nice way to decline a request from your boss? Should I just go to work? Ugh, the holidays can be so frustrating! Here is how our CAREEREALISM-Approved Experts answered this question on Twitter: Q#384 I would politely (but firmly) let him know that you have already made plans (since he gave you the day off). (@gradversity) Q#384 If it's critical family stuff, explain to boss and take off. If not, score some points and work. Its just a day. (@thejobgenius) Q#384 I'd tell my boss that w/his permission 2 B off, I'd planned things & couldn't cancel on short notice. (@beneubanks) Q#384 Say "So sorry! Made plans w/ family when you gave me day off." If you feel pressure, offer to work 2-3 hrs. (@juliaerickson) Q#384 Be honest. Tell boss U made plans when granted the day off. "Request" implies OK to say NO. OK to have life outside work. (@DawnBugni) Q#384 Nicely explain to ur boss that u already hv plans w family 4 Friday u cannot change. Make urself available via cell. (@DebraWheatman) Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.

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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.