Is your office more hectic during the holidays? That’s not shocking. Your employees have deadlines to meet with little time to spare, and they’re also trying to handle an assortment of holiday situations outside of the office.
That’s why it’s important to step back and remember that your employees have worked long hours to help your company this year. Here are three unique ways to show your staff how much you care about them this holiday season.
“It’s not just deadlines that increase anxiety, it’s everything that takes place after work too.”
1. Reduce their stress
The end of the year brings deadlines and with deadlines come stress. These almost go together like cookies and milk. Can you really have one without the other?
Of course, you can’t stop the end of the year from approaching – that’s inevitable. It’s very difficult, and sometimes financially detrimental, to extend deadlines until after the holidays. You’ll be hard-pressed to try to persuade your clients that your company can’t meet deadlines because employees feel stressed.
However, you can remove anxiety from the equation, and research from Virgin Pulse noted you probably should.
In a survey of 1,000 full-time employees in the U.S. and Canada who were not Virgin Pulse members, 64 percent said they become distracted at work during the holidays because they’re stressed. The research noted that it reduced their quality of work more than usual (about 30 percent).
Why all the stress? It’s not just deadlines that increase anxiety, it’s everything that takes place after work too. Two-thirds of respondents said they use upward of 60 percent of their workday to go shopping, run errands and communicate with friends and family about their holiday plans.
As an employer, it can be difficult to hear that your employees are conducting personal activities on company time. But often this is out of their control. Instead of reprimanding employees, help them.
Offer employees an early release from work the day before Thanksgiving, and give them the day after Thanksgiving off so they can take advantage of Black Friday deals. Early releases are also appropriate for Christmas Eve and New Year’s.
2. Reward employees for a great year
A great time to recognize employees for their hard work throughout the year is during the holiday season.
“40 % of employees would work harder if their employees took the time to recognize them.”
The holidays can be fun, but they’re almost always stressful. Remember, employees aren’t robots. They’re people who have families and they often have many personal commitments to focus on before the holidays arrive. End of year recognition is a great way to help employees release stress.
When you’re looking to meet tight deadlines as the year comes to a close, rewarding employees could help boost their motivation and engagement, and thus make sure staff members complete assignments on time. A survey commissioned by O Great One!, according to Harvard Business Review, found that 40 percent of employees would work harder if their employees took the time to recognize them.
3. Get creative
Giving your employees early releases or days off around the holidays or hosting an end-of-year holiday party are all perfectly viable (and recommended) ways to show your employees you care. However, we also believe it’s critical that you focus on improving your workplace environment.
If we’re going to talk about the season of giving, there’s no better way to give back to your employees than by developing an environment they’ll enjoy working in. By creating a positive, fun environment, you’re likely to increase employee happiness and thus boost their productivity which is incredibly valuable at the end of the year. A University of Warwick study of over 700 employees noted that happiness caused employees’ productivity to rise by roughly 12 percent.
The holidays are the perfect time of year to show your employees how much you appreciate them for their hard work. And don’t think it’s too late to implement these ideas! HR can approve days off, and managers can provide recognition (even on a small scale) while also jotting down ways to improve office culture.