Boosting Company Morale Over The Holidays

While the holidays are certainly a time for celebrating, that may not be the case for everyone on your team. It is often a stressful time of the year, filled with additional responsibilities and extra pressures.

Here are a few things business owners can do to boost company morale over the holidays for optimal enjoyment over the holiday season.

Establish A “Time Off” Calendar

Since so many people want time off during the holidays, it is important to plan accordingly. The sooner you let employees know that they should book their time off early, the better.

Set a minimum time for requests and review requests fairly based on the demands during the holiday season, whether you have sufficient employees in each department, and the employee’s seniority.

Loosen Up Schedules

The holiday season includes shopping, decorating, school events, and visiting with friends and family. Employees may feel that they don’t have the time they need when they are stuck with a rigid schedule. Most businesses can offer some flexibility so employees can juggle these additional responsibilities.

Allowing workers to start their shift a bit earlier or later is a simple solution. Perhaps you can compact the work week into four ten-hour days, instead of five eight hour days. Many duties are well-suited to telecommuting too, so employees can get things done around the house and work in between. A little flexibility goes a long way towards employee satisfaction and retention.

Show Appreciation

Many companies cannot afford to hand out huge bonuses to express gratitude for a job well done. However, they can show appreciation by scaling things down and adding a personal touch.

Gift cards are a welcome boost during the holidays for those who perform well. Nowadays, you can buy them for anything from groceries to massages to ensure that the card matches the person’s needs. Don’t give out generic gifts such as a bottle of wine or a ham. Not everyone drinks and some people do not eat pork or meat at all.

Switch Up the Workplace

The workplace doesn’t have to be all about work during the holidays. Consider paying for an instructor to come in for an hour for an in-house meditation or yoga session, particularly if employees work long hours during the holidays. These provide a welcome break from the usual pace, and it doesn’t take much time. Employees return to work refreshed, reinvigorated, and feeling appreciated.

Another simple idea is a lunchtime fitness instructor who can provide valuable walking tips while employees breathe in fresh air and walk in your business’s area. They can stop and enjoy a bagged lunch before returning to the workplace.

One Event

People have plenty to do during the holidays, so don’t bombard them with multiple commitments. A “free lunch” program on a particular day with catered food reduces stress and boosts morale without costing a fortune.

If that’s beyond your budget, consider organizing a potluck, but supply the decorations, refreshments, and music. Let employees know that the event is optional. Some people dread social events and others may prefer to stay home. They shouldn’t feel compelled to attend.

Lock up during the event and leave a voice mail on the company phone. If that’s unrealistic, bring in an extra person for a few hours. It is extremely important that people have the option to attend, even if they choose not to. Don’t single out a person to work while others enjoy the fun, unless they volunteer to do so. Even so, compensate them well for their effort.

Many companies have eager employees who initiate “Secret Santa” gift exchanges, ugly Christmas sweater competitions, and other holiday activities. Post a notice and let employees know these are optional too so they don’t feel obligated to participate.

Include Everyone

You probably employ people from various faiths and traditions so decorate and organize functions accordingly. It’s perfectly acceptable to wish everyone “Merry Christmas,” but steer away from religious references or prayers. It can make people of other faiths feel uncomfortable and isolated.

Be Humble

Let your employees know that you do not want an expensive gift during the holidays. It is a practice that can breed resentment, especially since workers often feel compelled to contribute and the gift may be more expensive than employees can afford themselves.

Many companies ban this practice to avoid hard feelings. Employers should show employees appreciation at this time of the year.

Little things mean so much during the holidays. Recognize your employee’s hard work, provide opportunities for mini-breaks, and loosen up schedules. These small measures can go a long way towards improving employee relations, creating a healthier, happier workplace, and ensuring business success.

Gilbert’s Risk Solutions would like to wish you and yours Happy Holidays! Stay safe and know we’re here for you for all your insurance needs.

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