It’s the happiest, cheeriest, busiest, and most dangerous time of the year! The holidays are rolling in fast and small businesses need to be prepared ASAP for this year’s holiday season. While you can prepare for an influx of customers, you should also be prepared for the effects of the holidays on your workers. Here are 4 ways to keep office enthusiasm strong during the holidays!
Make Your Hours More Flexible
Almost every employee has some familial obligation during the holiday season, and will likely be more anxious because of their work hours. You should be prepared for a rapid increase in schedule change requests and inquiries from your employees.
While it can be easy to just tell them no and to stick to the assigned schedule, that will only decrease enthusiasm and in turn, productivity. Your employees deserve to spend some time enjoying time with their families and will slow down productivity if they’re forced to miss an important gathering, or they may even resent you.
On the other side of the coin, if you do give them time off, or more flexible work hours, then their enthusiasm will increase, and they will appreciate you and the business much more. This results in more productivity, increased retention, and a better overall office culture.
This is not to say that you should give your employees as much free time as they would like. You will likely be much busier and will need their help. Find a way to keep their schedules organized in a way that they can easily see when they’re needed and when they can be flexible. Having a little bit of give-and-take in this situation increases enthusiasm, productivity, and generates more trust between employer and employee.
Consider Group Bonding Activities
Having a sense of teamwork and professional friendships can greatly improve the work environment. Everyone wants to go to work at a place where they enjoy the company of those around them. It’s what makes the more grueling and demanding parts of the job more bearable, and sometimes even enjoyable.
One example I know of is how one local bakery would spend a day working with children in a local Jewish school baking Challah bread with them. Not only is it a wonderful marketing experience, since you can guess that their parents bought Challah bread from that bakery thereon, but it’s time for team bonding because the bakers were out of the bakery and playing with children.
And that same week, they would bake and package thousands of loaves of fruitcake, and they would use that as an opportunity to talk and laugh about their time with the kids and appreciate their time together while doing what needed to get done.
Another example of team bonding could be volunteering for a non-profit, or hosting a party or gathering. Keep it professional, workers are allowed to draw boundaries between their personal lives and their professional lives, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t bond with your professional peers.
Everyone wants to enjoy the holiday season. As an employer, it is in your best benefit to make your work environment as stress-free as possible while keeping productivity high.