The holiday season can bring a host of social gatherings, gift exchanges and visits with family and friends. While these things make this “the most wonderful time of the year” for many people, they can create a dilemma for businesses, leaving workplaces sparse or with sidetracked employees.
To avoid a lull in productivity, employers may consider implementing the following tips this holiday season:
Communicate policies early
As the holidays approach, managers should clarify company policies and expectations regarding time off with staff. Providing clear communication may help prevent difficult conversations or tension if an employee’s time-off request cannot be accommodated. Employers may even consider sharing copies of office policies with employees for awareness. This communication should also note any blackout dates due to project deadlines, outline proper protocol for requesting vacation time, and list office closure dates.
Prepare for festive distractions
Preparing for the holiday season through online shopping or planning a winter vacation can easily interrupt an employee’s focus on work. Management may encourage staff to stay on task throughout the workday and lift overall office morale by permitting team members to take breaks throughout the day to accomplish personal tasks. Additionally, holiday-themed group activities, such as a voluntary gift or cookie exchange, can help foster goodwill and team spirit among company teams or departments. Bringing a festive spirit into the workplace can increase employee engagement, leading to greater dedication to work-related responsibilities.
Allow flexibility when possible
With clients on vacation and projects winding down, many companies are quiet near the end of the year. If possible, business owners might consider closing their office the last week of the year and giving staff additional time off. While this is not feasible for all organizations, businesses can still offer increased flexibility by creating a shorter work schedule during the holiday season or allowing employees to work remotely on certain days. If managers are unable to give staff time off for the holidays, they may consider offering comp days to take at a different time of the year.
By planning ahead and implementing these strategies, business owners and managers can maintain productivity while allowing employees to enjoy the season.
Eric Bonugli is a district manager and Kay Oder is a Certified Business Performance Advisor for Insperity. They are located in the company’s Austin office. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 32 years provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance.