The holidays are a paradoxical time for most people. On one hand “Tis the season to be jolly” but on the other, we all know how stressful this time of year can be for ourselves and others. Employers have a special responsibility during the holiday season, for in order to successfully manage a group of workers, they have to count on them to be productive and motivated – two things which are threatened by the stress of the holidays.
While there is no magic wand which can be waved to make employees instantly happier during this often stressful time of year, there are a number of things employers can do to help make employees be as happy as possible during the holidays. These include:
Give them gifts
Providing employees with holiday gifts is a simple and straightforward way to let them know they are appreciated. Companies can easily distribute holiday ham gifts as well as turkeys and food baskets to their workers, as well as a number of other options. Gift cards and cash bonuses are always welcome but bear in mind the tax implications of cash or cash-equivalent gifts. Gift certificates for specific items, on the other hand, can be distributed without any adjustments made in accounting.
Give them time off
Most people want to spend the holidays with their families. With this in mind, employers are encouraged to provide as much paid time off as possible during the holiday season. This gives workers the opportunity to see relatives they otherwise don’t get to visit very often, as well as engage in family-oriented activities including trips and holiday light display sightseeing. This is sure to help keep employees happy during the holiday season.
Throw them a party
Another surefire way to boost workplace morale during the holiday season is to throw an office party. Hire a catering service to provide delicious hot food items and platter spreads. Encourage employees to wear festive clothing if they wish, or come as they are if they prefer. Perhaps include a trivia game for interesting prizes or some other form of mildly competitive fun.
Don’t be Scrooge
While we associate being a scrooge with being cheap, it also refers to having a negative state-of-mind during the holidays. While managers and business owners ought to avoid being too harsh or critical in general, it’s especially important to avoid these missteps during the holiday season. Given the amount of stress most people are carrying with them in their day-to-day lives, particularly at the end-of-the-year, it’s a bad idea to unnecessarily contribute to this burden. It will only lead to reduced worker performance and diminished morale. Keep a chipper and cheerful attitude during the holidays and you’ll see the positive results ripple through your workforce.
Remind them of their value
The end-of-the-year is a normal time for employees to undergo a review. Given the timing, it’s a great opportunity to help workers feel good about themselves and thus feel happier during the holidays. This is true even if the employee has to be told there is room for improvement; if the worker is being kept on for next year, then he or she is bringing value to the company, so remind them of this fact.
Employers are not wizards and can’t place a spell on their place of business to make sure everyone is having a good time this holiday season. However, they can do a handful of relatively easy things to help improve moods and morale for employees during a stressful part of the year.