Halloween is just around the corner and in a few short weeks the calendar will flip to November 1—the unofficial beginning to the winter holiday season that can seriously reduce employee productivity. After all, who has time to put in a solid eight hours a day at the office when there is seasonal shopping, schmoozing, and socializing to be done?
Many business owners have a love-hate relationship with this time of year, due to the fact that employees are less focused on their work. However, there are some easy ways to help stave off the holiday slump and keep your employees as energized about their jobs as they are about maximizing their holiday festivities. Here are a few ideas:
- Acknowledge that the holidays are happening. Since many of your employees are likely to celebrate a holiday of some kind over the next couple of months, be up front about how your business will handle the holidays. Let your team know the date by which they need to request time-off and which days, if any, holidays will be observed or shorter work hours will be implemented. Don’t forget that a little bit of leeway around leaving early to accommodate holiday gatherings or other seasonal obligations can go a long way toward preserving employee morale and motivation.
- Provide a few special perks. Even if your company doesn’t have an end-of-the-year bonus plan or pay out holiday bonuses, you can still provide some low-cost perks to help promote employee productivity at the holidays. Everyone likes to feel appreciated for their hard work, so consider offering your team members a few hours away from the office on a selected day to finish holiday errands or to help at a community event. Bringing in some healthy snacks to keep your staff energized as they do their work is also a great idea. These small gestures show that you care about your staff, which tends to motivate employees to work harder in return.
- Celebrate as a team. While few people expect that work will be fun every day, investing time to build camaraderie, especially around the holidays, is a great way to help employees feel more engaged and enthusiastic all year long. Consider hosting a holiday breakfast or lunch during the workday instead of an after-hours party. Your employees will thank you for not adding another event to their already busy personal schedule! To help reduce the budget burden, you can even make your get-together a potluck where everyone brings their favorite seasonal dish. This can help to keep the celebration inclusive of all holidays that are recognized at this time of year.
With a little bit of thought and advance preparation, you can help to keep your employees engaged and productive through the holiday season—and beyond. You may even establish a new company tradition and a spirit of teamwork that will last well into the new year.