The holiday season can be especially challenging for business owners and managers who, at the very least, aim to preserve productivity and a positive work environment.
From taking time off to attending parties and finding time for gift shopping, the end of the year can be a difficult time to stay on target and at a peak level of performance.
This end-of-year slowdown can be additionally stretching for companies that recently introduced remote work.
Maintaining maximum productivity while working remotely is already a challenge employees are struggling to tackle, so managing to give them that extra push may be especially tough.
But just because you’re near the finish line of the holiday breaks doesn’t mean your business has to experience high absentee rates and a distracted workforce.
Here are some easy ways to create a positive work environment during the holidays while allowing employees to enjoy the joyous season outside of the office:
Join the Celebrations With Office Gifts
The holiday season is a time of joyous occasions and activities, so why not show your employees that you appreciate their time by joining in on the celebrations?
Office parties, gifts, and other types of acknowledgment carry a symbolic value; they convey the message that employer-employee relationships are not purely transactional.
Finding a gift that will appeal to everyone may, at first glance, appear challenging since every employee has their taste and preferences.
Luckily, SnackNation has compiled a list of bulk Christmas gifts that are sure to surprise and delight your employees, coworkers, and clients. And, if there was ever a time for it, it’s the holiday season.
Leave Room for Flexibility
No matter how hard you try to keep the status quo, life can get busy and stressful during the holidays.
Making simple adjustments to take some of that pressure off can make everyone’s lives easier, and naturally, more positive.
For instance, announcing the holiday schedule in advance can help everyone plan and not scramble at the last minute.
Keeping that same schedule flexible – with room for shorter or adjusted working hours, working from home, or leaving the office a few days early – can also allow your employees to create a plan that works for them and remain positive about their work obligations.
Keep Everyone on the Same Page
If you’re not already doing so, you should make sure that everyone is on the same page about the end-of-year goals, tasks, and achievements.
This should not translate to long meetings that eat into more of your time but rather simple efforts to ensure everyone knows what’s going on and how their contribution is vital.
Going over why and not just what can help them feel motivated to support the company mission and ensure that everyone stays a team.
The most important thing is to know what you’re communicating and to communicate it well.
Lead by Example
You may try to keep everyone on-task, but if you’re leaving the office early and regularly taking long weekends, you’re sending a message that that is the standard. If you want to keep your employees focused and positive in the workplace, you need to set an example first.
That is not to say that you should refrain from constructive criticism during the holiday season, but if your approach is to constantly remind everyone that they’re not getting anything done, it will ultimately take a toll on morale.
Instead, keep a positive attitude, and you’ll likely see a culture of optimism and engagement taking over.
Address Issues Before They Escalate
If you notice that some of your employees are struggling to stay focused, don’t rely on sheer hope to lift them during the holiday season.
Instead, address the problem before it grows into a considerable disruption in the office.
Have a conversation with the employee and explain your concerns. A considerate chat will help them feel comfortable to share their thoughts as well, after which you can both arrive at a solution.
You can even consider offering better training programs to prepare your employees for future challenges, including those of the holiday season.
Offer Support and Appreciation
Showing your employees appreciation is essential at any time of the year, but it has unique importance during the holiday season.
If you take time to create some warmth and let your employees know that their contributions are valued, you can build a positive culture that will motivate them even beyond the end of the holidays.
Take special note that while some people may be close to their families – and spend their holidays with them – others may not have them.
If you’re looking to build bonds with your team and share a sense of belonging, you should be sympathetic towards each unique situation.
The holiday season can be stressful and busy for everyone involved, but it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on the work environment.
If you adopt a few simple practices that address your employees’ needs and concerns, you will likely get them – and your business – through the holiday season successfully.
Some of these practices include sending office gifts, allowing more flexibility, keeping everyone on the same page, leading by example, addressing issues on time, and offering support and appreciation.
Remember to plan ahead and always leave room for adjustments.