Holidays are a happy time. People are getting ready to spend time with loved ones, enjoy delicious food, and unwind. However, it’s important to remember that the holidays can also be draining for employees. Not only are they racing to meet deadlines for end-of-year reports and goals, but they’re also trying to cram in all the work before they head off to vacation.
This stressful period inevitably leads to a drop in productivity. However, as an organizational leader, there are things you can do to counteract the negative effects of the holidays. Here are a few ideas to boost productivity at your organization:
1. Offer a flexible work schedule
If you want to help employees be more productive, you may want to consider offering flexible work options. For example, you can allow employees to set their own hours or work from home. This type of flexibility gives your workforce the time and space they need to focus on meeting their deadlines – without the distraction of an office setting. A survey found that 91% of employees reported being just as productive or more productive when working remotely.
Another option is to be open minded about office closures. An extra day or two off can help people catch up on projects and get everything in order before the holiday madness starts. In fact, the same study found that offices that close additional days have a higher rate of productive employees during the time that they’re actually in the office (42% compared to 17% for offices that stay open outside of federal holidays).
2. Plan ahead
As part of the HR team, there are things you can do to make your and your employees’ lives a bit easier around the holidays. Most of these actions revolve around planning ahead. For instance, send out holiday office closure dates early so employees can plan their work, time off schedules and contingency plans accordingly. You can also make sure to have everyone’s vacation dates approved ahead of time to minimize stress and confusion.
You can also play a huge role in making sure the leadership team is on top of their game. Send out company-wide emails emphasizing the importance of maintaining work-life balance. Or ask managers not to hand out last-minute projects to their employees. It’s a simple way to remind everyone of holiday work etiquette. Plus, these small gestures can make a big impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of everyone at the organization.
3. Don’t forget the festivities
A great way to boost productivity is to focus on the fun! Show your employees that the holidays are meant to be a happy time by bringing out all the festivities. Whether it’s hosting a company-wide potluck, organizing a gift exchange, or having an ugly sweater contest, there are tons of creative ways to re-energize your workforce.
Employees even reported that one of the five things that would significantly improve their productivity during the holiday season was more office festivities (21%). This not only demonstrates to employees that their company cares about their happiness, but also encourages everyone to bond with each other during the holidays. Just make sure the festivity you choose is inclusive and respectful, regardless of what holiday people choose to celebrate.
4. Share recognition
Finally, a great way to boost productivity around the holidays is through the power of recognition. The holidays are an ideal time to reflect back on all the great work your team has done and express gratitude for their contributions in making the company successful. Instead of defaulting to your usual route of Starbucks gift cards or cash bonuses, consider more meaningful ways to demonstrate your appreciation this season.
For instance, you can host a wellness day at the office. Bring free yoga lessons, massage sessions, and a smoothie bar into the office. This makes it easy for your employees to find pockets of time throughout the day to relax. Or, if you want to go the extra mile, consider giving the gift of experience to your top performers. With this option, your employees can choose something personal from a ton of possibilities – whether it’s flying trapeze lessons or a food tour at their next travel destination – and come away with a cherished memory that they’ll always associate with your company.
While the holiday season isn’t all fun and games for employees and can be quite stressful, there are many things you can do to keep your workforce happy, energized, and productive. Do you have any other ideas that we didn’t include on this list? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!