Everyone has heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life” well, the same rings true on the job front, “happy employee, happy company” …it might not be as catchy, but the consequences are the same! Most corporations will experience a lack of productivity during the months of November through December. According to AllOnHealth, “They’re present at work but are underperforming.”( If you want to read the whole article: http://www.allonehealth.com/news-media/2014/12/15/holiday-stress-guide.aspx). The pressure is on to maintain productivity, even go as far to create such a positive and happy atmosphere that employees see work as a break from the holiday stress.
How do you keep a positive working environment during the stress of the holidays?
Most people have a nostalgic feeling towards their happy memories of the holidays, but this is the most stressful time of the year for people that already are trying to balance work and life. With people’s schedules filling up by the day with holiday parties, dinners, gatherings, their children’s school functions, volunteering, etc., the last thing employers want to do is have an unhappy work environment. So, what can employers do to assist and cultivate the culture of a positive atmosphere; a place where employees are actually excited when they come to work and take a break from their stressful schedule?
Here are some simple and easy tips so employees feel work is a relief during the holidays:
Give Flexible Schedules
Time is priceless! The difference of an hour is life changing for some people, especially hard working employees. Give your employees options to come in an hour early and leave an hour early, or come an hour later and leave and hour later. When someone knows they have more freedom they will be much more productive with the hours they spend working. Something so small can make such a difference and people will be grateful for that extra hour, wherever they decide to put it to use.
Do a Small Gift Exchange
This is a no-brainer. Have employees who want to participate fill out an interest survey and have everyone draw names. Choose a week that everyday they will show some love with small gifts for their assigned co-workers. On the final day of the week bring the employees together to guess who was thinking of them that week, and allow them to show their appreciation for one another. They could even give a nice gift in person on the final day like a nice bottle of wine to enjoy during their celebrations. Spirited Gifts https://spiritedgifts.com/ is a great place to make that purchase. Who can be upset when they are getting goodies everyday!
Have a Dress Down Day or Week
This is just fun. Like spirit week back in high school. You can do the ever popular ugly sweater day or create a theme like Star Wars. Get creative, consider your employees, even let them chose. The more ownership they have the more participation and fun they will have. Because this is something that a large group is all participating in it will boost morale and create more of a team environment. Everyone needs a break from the ordinary.
Put Treats in the Break Room
Baked goods are always appreciated and you can even throw in some healthy options for those who are trying to watch their waist-line. This just makes people feel appreciated and that will translate into productivity. Its a win win.
Make a Drawing for an Early Release Day
This is can be used as leverage for productivity as well. You can offer tickets according to productivity and don’t put a limit on how many tickets they can receive. This works best weekly and whose ever name is drawn gets to chose a day they would like to leave early.
Have Lunch Catered
Food speaks to everyone, even those that might not be celebrating this time of year. Surprise them with a lunch break on you, a time to unwind and socialize. Food brings everyone together and puts a smile on their face.
Give out Daily Accolades
This doesn’t have to be too formal. Make it silly and light-hearted, specific to the people you are acknowledging. For example, if you have someone that is amazing at problem solving you can award them with “The Great Detective”, this will keep them continuing to do a great job and motivate those around to try to be noticed for something positive also.
After all, the holidays are a time when people are supposed to show appreciation for those around them. Enjoy making memories with the people you work with!