Holidays can be just as stressful as they are happy, both for managers and employees. Planning can help businesses avoid some of the common problems that go along with the season. Let’s jump right into ways to head off some of the most common seasonal problems before they occur.
The Christmas Party
You’ve seen the worst-case scenario in the movies, and you might have experienced it in real life as well. People get caught up in the celebration and forget they’re at a work-related event. Set the tone early and avoid potential problems by planning ahead. Review the employee handbook together and let all staff know the same standards apply at company-sponsored events.
In your invite, mention attire. When you specify business casual or business formal (or even have an ugly sweater party), you’re less likely to have employees show up dressed in after-hours clothing.
If you’re serving alcohol, avoid an open bar, issue drink tickets or hire a bartender you can trust to keep things in check. Serve good food constantly. Make sure you have options for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.
Be aware not everyone celebrates Christmas. Make your holiday party voluntary and hold it outside of work hours. Let everyone know they’re welcome, but don’t force or require attendance.
Another huge problem for employers during the holidays is that everyone wants off at the same time. It’s understandable people want to be with their families during the holidays, and often that means travel. Cold and flu season starts at the same time, further complicating issues.
Employees have lots to do with holiday shopping, entertaining and travel. Prepare to receive more time-off requests than normal. Consider using flex time as a reward, or implementing a rotating schedule for employees who complete tasks early and want to take a morning or afternoon for personal tasks.
Announce your policy for approving absences early, and set a deadline for requests. Some bosses approve based on seniority, others take a first-come-first-served approach.
Your staff has more to do during the holidays, but you still have a business to run. Accept the fact employees are going to be distracted, and then make plans to create fresh energy and engagement.
Consider planning office competitions based around the holidays, with time off or small perks for teams who reach their goals. Boost morale with more flexible holiday hours. Publicly recognize and reward employees who give 100 percent every day of the year.
Not Enough Employees
Sometimes office problems happen because there’s too much work and not enough people to keep up. It’s not too late to hire seasonal or temporary help to get you through the busy 2019 holidays. Contact Brelsford Personnel to find out more.