That catered lunch is also a great opportunity to encourage team building, facilitate inter-department networking, and serve as a brainstorming session for upcoming initiatives that can benefit the bottom line.
Schedule a work-from-home day before or after the holiday
Whatever day a holiday is, it’s going to disrupt workflow. When a holiday falls in the middle of the week or on either side of a weekend, it’s often harder to maintain productivity.
Roll with it by scheduling a remote or flexible work day that falls before or after the holiday. Work with employees and discuss options such as telecommuting or working different hours that day. A change of scenery can be motivational. This flexibility shows you’re willing to help employees find a balance between getting work done and accommodating a holiday.
Recognize a job well done
The December holiday season falls at the end of the calendar year. It’s a festive time of high spirits and reflection on what matters. That also makes it a great time for employers to recognize a job well done.
Whether it’s one-on-one meetings, a company lunch, or another occasion, set up times around the holiday season to acknowledge employee accomplishments. Tally company successes and share accomplishments with everyone in the organization. Handwritten holiday cards from team leaders, managers, or executives give a personal touch that shows genuine appreciation. This can also be a good time to firm up promotions or reward employees financially with a holiday or end-of-year bonuses.
That doesn’t mean that you throw workplace schedules out the window for every school play or holiday tree lighting. It just means showing some sense and sensitivity. Acknowledge that your employees need flexibility outside the office and make it clear that you will do everything you can to accommodate people’s needs during a busy season.
Especially around the holidays, schedule meetings and deadlines so you set your organization up for success. What are the truly high-priority goals that must be met? What can be left until after the holidays?
These times of year can also be great for stepping back from day-to-day work and focusing instead on big-picture goals and future initiatives. Holidays can be disruptive at the office, but they also shake people out of routines, leading to new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Gamify projects or assignments
Those goals and deliverables you defined as priorities to finish before the holiday? When work hours seem like they’re slowly ticking toward the end of the day before that precious holiday, it can be hard to motivate people to put on their A-game and get things done. That’s where gamification and incentives come in handy.
Allow plenty of flexibility
The key to holiday productivity? Flexibility.
Holidays are a natural time for a slowdown. After all, it’s not just your workplace that experiences holidays. The same slowdowns and pressures apply across the board.
The added obligations and stresses that can come with the holidays can decrease employee productivity. Being flexible means letting go of what does not need to be done in advance of the holiday while setting clear expectations on what does need to be accomplished before everyone can kick back.
Clarify what you aren’t willing to budge on. For example, some workplaces don’t allow online shopping at work on CyberMonday. Send clear communications on what is and is not allowed.
Or consider a half day so people can finish up early and have the holidays to look forward to.
Avoid emailing or business calls
If the office is closed for the holiday, keep it closed. There may be an occasion where an emergency requires all hands on deck. Typically, though, a holiday is a holiday. Emails, business calls, and meetings can all wait until everyone is back in the office.
If someone does need to be on-site or on-hand for emergencies, make sure the company compensates accordingly with overtime, a bonus, additional time off at a different time of year, or the first chance to put in a time-off request.
Instead of fighting the holidays, embrace them. Employees who take a holiday break can also come back refreshed and recharged, ready to commit and knock out current projects and new initiatives. When you have demonstrated a willingness to be flexible with your people, you are far more likely to also see increased commitment and productivity.
The holidays don’t have to be a time of hectic disruption. When you work with the holidays and accommodate your employees, you can turn special occasions into a productive time that works for your business. And that’s a gift worth giving any time of year.
ZeroCater corporate catering and snacks services provide curated meals and snacks to companies for any office occasion. We partnered with a diverse range of local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks alongside a personalized selection of snacks, beverages, and kitchen supplies, all tailored to your teams’ tastes and dietary preferences. ZeroCater is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, Washington D.C. and Chicago. More About ZeroCater
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