It can be challenging to maintain a productive work environment during the holiday season. During the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year, you want to be festive and create space for your employees to celebrate with family and friends. But it's also critical that productivity levels are maintained and client expectations continue to be met. With advanced planning, it's possible to help spread good cheer while doing great work. Here are five tips for maintaining a productive work environment through the winter holiday season.
Use Clear Weekly and Monthly Goals to Motivate Employees
Whether you are typically a casual company or you provide close management of workers' day-to-day activities, a clear work plan can help keep your team focused amidst holiday distractions. Set clear weekly and monthly goals for each department and position. Arrange regular meetings and check-ins to make sure that projects and deadlines are staying on track. It's easier for managers to take an active role during busy seasons when everyone has clear objectives, and your team will thank you for making it clear what their priority focus should be.
Have Open Discussions about the Importance of Staying on Track
Employees who are reminded about the importance of staying on track are more likely to do so. Often, holiday distractions creep up on workers who are trying to squeeze in a bit of online shopping during the day or sneak out a few minutes early to get to a holiday party. Small schedule issues can quickly add up. Acknowledging the issue can help curb these behaviors and may also create an open space for people to talk about concerns. During a staff meeting or one-on-one sessions with your workers, discuss the challenges of keeping focused this time of year. Offer resources and suggestions for prioritizing work tasks, and encourage your teams to share tips that work for them. In addition, let employees flag any specific areas that are especially important to them, so you can problem-solve solutions together.
Support Employees' Need for Family Time or Time Off
During the holidays, it can pay off to help your employees balance work and personal time. Whether it's approving a team member's request for a vacation to visit their extended family over the New Year or accommodating flexible schedules that make it easier to get to a holiday pageant, employers who support work-life balance will have happier teams. It's also easier for workers to focus when they know that work isn't competing with their personal priorities and commitments during a jammed time of year.
Enjoy Some Holiday Cheer as a Team
Every business has a different approach to celebrating the holidays, with diverse traditions and expectations among staff. Whether your company throws a year-end bash or you simply grant everyone an extra day off to spend as they like, think about how to introduce cheer this year. The holidays can provide the opportunity for something simple such as a catered lunch or a more extravagant celebration that builds up team spirit and rewards everyone for a year of work well-done. To avoid adding to the crush of personal commitments that many people experience during the holiday season, consider scheduling your celebration around the New Year.
Take a Moment to be Thankful
The holiday season is a great opportunity to recognize your employees' commitment and contributions throughout the year. Many businesses will offer a day off or a gift to say thanks. Just as important is taking a moment to thank each person for their time. Whether you do so through a handwritten note, a personal email, or stopping by and chatting with each employee, recognition is one of the most powerful and least expensive tools at a manager's disposal.
The holidays can be a busy time, and it's important that employers balance the desire for productivity with the season demands that workers face. Use smart planning, active management, and a commitment to work-life balance to have a holiday season that's both personally and professionally rewarding.