What Gets Your Employees Through the Holidays?

As Thanksgiving descends on us this week, Black Friday gets millions out of bed particularly early on Friday, and thoughts of Christmas office parties, trees and presents are right around the corner, how will your employees remained focused on their jobs?

For many small businesses, the end of the year is a busier time than people think, as companies look to make last-minute runs at additional revenue, the year is put under a microscope to see what did and did not work, and plans are well underway to prep for the coming year.

With all there still is do in these final six or so weeks, employee morale can sometimes take a hit as workers are more focused on outside details than what is going on inside their cubicles.

So, how can you as an employer keep the focus on work and not outside distractions?

Among the ways to go about it are:

1. Incorporate the holidays into the office – While there is still work to be done these final six or so weeks of the year, make the atmosphere fun for employees. Whether it is one big office party or some smaller and more intimate gatherings, don’t try and make like you don’t know what time of the year it is;
2. Highlight the past year’s accomplishments – We all know that 2011 was a tough year for many small businesses, in turn, many employees who lost their jobs. For those things that did go right this year, take the time over the holidays to highlight them. While the company’s return on investment (ROI) is always the bottom line, make note of both company and individual highlights to give your team some momentum going into 2012;
3. Be positive going into the New Year – Short of mass layoffs, point out all the positive aspects of the coming year to your employees. Whether it is projected positive financial numbers, increased numbers of new-hires, or recognition from consumers looking forward to work with you, make sure to discuss with your team the prospects for 2012. By doing so, you keep the focus on work and not coasting through the remainder of this year;
4. Provide incentives – While many small businesses have taken it on the chin this year, others have done okay for themselves. If the money is there, provide incentives for your employees this last month-plus of 2011. Whether it is bonuses, time off from work or other incentives, make the last six or so weeks fun, giving employees a reason not to think of you as Scrooge.

It is only natural after a hectic year that many of your employees want to slow down and recharge their batteries for the days and weeks ahead in 2012.

Make these final weeks of 2011 a fun time for all, making for a more exciting and positive office environment.

Oh, and don’t hang any mistletoe in your office, you don’t want any potential sexual harassment suits to be unwrapped.

Photo credit: wikihow.com

Dave Thomas writes about a variety of small business topics providing helpful hints and tips to help grow a business. Dave’s background is in business insurance and telecommunications and has a passion for social media and sports.

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2 Responses to What Gets Your Employees Through the Holidays?

  1. I couldn’t agree with this article more. Companies should harness the inherent energy of the holidays and encourage employees to apply that enthusiasm in the office. Employers that discourage holiday cheer will most likely find themselves with disgruntled workers and uninspired work.

  2. Dan Sahrkey says:

    We gave our employees a choice on whether they wanted a raise or an additional holiday and they all chose the holiday.

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