Many people refer to the holiday season as the “most wonderful time of the year,” but for many, it’s also the most stressful. Some employees feel pressure to get as much done as possible before taking time off to be with their loved ones. Others reduce their workflow but then end up playing catch up at the start of the new year. Luckily, we can encourage employees to find a happy medium for both of these cases. The holidays can be a great time to show appreciation for your employees as well as keeping them motivated to do great work until the year’s end.
De-stressing through the snow
Stress for employees during the holiday season doesn’t always stem from the workplace. Many employees bring their outside stress into the office, no matter what it is. While it is not best practice to come right out and ask what is going on in someone’s personal life, just letting our employees know that we are available to talk if needed can be a friendly reminder that they are not alone in their stress.
Promoting PTO, offering flexible hours, and giving additional days off around the holidays can help ease timing and scheduling stress for employees as well. Be sure to promote deadlines and clear communication to those taking this extra time so that everyone is on the same page. Being mindful of your employees without families during this time is also super important, as they may not need the extra time off.
Goals, goals, goals
As the holidays approach, that means the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. It’s naturally a good time to review and set goals for both the company and employees alike, as well as an opportunity to review the company’s performance and introduce new benefits/perks to look forward to in the new year.
Talking about the year ahead will create an exciting atmosphere as many will look forward to the upcoming additions and/or changes in the office. As I discussed in a previous blog post, now is a great time to hold your end of the year reviews. When run properly, they can be a good way to keep employees on their A-game as their productivity will be assessed during their review.
Recognition is the reason for the season
You can show your employees you appreciate their hard work throughout the year by recognizing them in one way or another during the holidays. It can be something as big as a holiday bonus (per the company’s budget) or as simple as an Amazon gift card. Even a personal item like a handwritten card for each employee is an unforgettable gesture.
Employees will want to continue to do great work when they are appreciated, and what better time to show that appreciation than the season for giving? Holiday parties, in any form, are a major way to show employee appreciation as well. A nice sit down dinner, an intimate gathering at a local bar/lounge, games and mingling at a brewery, or even a catered function at the office are all ways to celebrate and recognize your employees during the season.
Jingle all the way… into the New Year
Just because the holiday season is over once the new year starts, doesn’t mean the gestures and fun have to end. Continue to reward employees for their hard work by planning gatherings and outings (monthly/quarterly, etc). These gatherings could be as simple as an office potluck, a recreational team building activity, or even a happy hour. Encourage healthy competitions for new years resolutions as well! Whether it be a health, general, or financial wellness challenge, this could boost morale and create comradery amongst coworkers.
All in all, the holidays are a joyous time of year to celebrate milestones and look forward to the year ahead. Using these suggestions to keep your employees happy, healthy, and thriving this time of the year can definitely help ease the pressure during this stressful season. If you’re not sure if your holiday plans for your employees is enough, consider asking for employee feedback. And never be afraid to put your own spin on things!