The mont of December, perhaps more than any other time of the year, is the ultimate tight rope for bosses. You balance between being too loose and being too strict. When you are too loose, your employees may not stay on track and that could hurt business.. How ever, if you are too strict, you come off at the grinch, and possibly damage the office morale, now and after the season has ended.
So how you can you have the best of both worlds? Here is some great advice from leaders around the world!
CELEBRATING SUCCESSES, RELIEVE STRESS AND HAVE FUN TOGETHER AT A HOLIDAY PARTY
"This time of year is especially busy for our business, with our entire team working extra hard to sell, produce, and ship out product in time for the holidays. This can mean working late nights and weekends to make sure everything goes smoothly. We strive to reward and balance this extra effort with positive recognition of everyone's contributions, extra time off once the work is successfully completed, and of course having fun together as a team with a big holiday party. This year in particular, we’re going to a nearby fun park where we can relieve any built-up stress with laser tag or a competitive go-kart race. We're true believers in ‘work hard, play hard,’ getting things done and celebrating successes together."
— Mark Buff, CEO of satellite antenna company Moh
EASE EMPLOYEES’ PRE-HOLIDAY ANXIETY BY ALLOWING REMOTE WORKING
"The holidays can create a lot of stress for employees—with holiday shopping to finish, family gatherings to prepare for, and traveling to visit loved ones. In order to combat these stresses, which can reduce morale and productivity, we encourage our teams to work remotely as needed. This is something we offer throughout the year but is particularly important during the holidays when a rigid schedule or commute can become an extra burden.
"To further promote this, our company even offers VR staff meetings that enable employees from across the country to connect and collaborate even when they’re physically far away. This kind of flexibility gives our employees peace of mind that they’re doing their jobs, while also taking part in everything the holidays are about. Furthermore, for those employees who still come into the office for work, we hold in-house happy hours, which we’ve found not only help to ease stress and celebrate the holiday season but encourage team building and creativity within the office."
— Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of virtual reality company YouVisit
PROVIDE ADEQUATE TIME OFF FOR EVERY HOLIDAY (NOT JUST CHRISTMAS)
"Providing adequate time off to allow employees to recognize holidays and volunteer opportunities are important. I encourage employees to recognize the various holiday periods and respect the time off that is needed to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, to name a few. I also provide employees with the opportunity to take paid time off to volunteer in their communities, and our culture committee works with each facility to arrange food and/or clothing donations or to adopt a local family in need. I found that when employees are able to spend time with family or to care for others in need, that is the motivator that gets them through the stress of the holiday season."
— Tim Estes, CEO of cognitive computing company Digital Reasoning
PLAN AHEAD FOR UNPRODUCTIVE TIME
"I prefer to embrace the fact that year-end is generally unproductive the last few weeks so plan for it. Set deadlines to wrap up things before the holidays. Be realistic about what can get done so expectations are accurately set. Use the end of the year to ‘clean out’—email, folders, etc.—so that you can come back refreshed at the start of the new year. Coordinate office celebrations to include everyone and try to keep festivities to one day so employees don’t feel obligated to contribute throughout the hectic month."
— Christine Robins, president & CEO of outdoor grill maker Char-Broil
As a leader do you have a certain strategy you use during the holiday season to keep your employees on track, but also keep the office morale high?