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spreading holiday cheer at the office

During the holidays, employees are often distracted by their own plans and year ­end job wrap­-up activities. As a supervisor, you likely have your eye on the bottom line and what it will look like at the close of the year. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep productivity up and employee spirits positive, spreading holiday cheer at the office during the holidays.

Even though we all want to close out the year on a strong note, excessive overtime hours and working on paid holidays lowers employee morale, and may backfire in the long run.

Short deadlines for important projects and pressure to reach end-of-year ­goals can add to the obligations. Even simple, fun events, such as purchasing a Secret Santa present or baking for a cookie exchange can add to holiday stress, creating one more task to do. Instead, think of low­-cost ways you can provide stress relief for employees during this time. This will pay off for you in a smoother end­-of­-year, and hopefully, a more robust bottom line.

For example, at Techsmith Corporation, schedule conflicts kept large numbers of employees from attending the annual holiday party. So, the planners changed the concept. The annual company holiday event is now the company’s birthday party in February.

Moreover, according to a recent survey of human resources professionals, 51 percent of companies schedule holiday events during normal business hours, taking time pressure off their employees. This results in short­-term productivity loss (a couple hours), but a net gain in overall morale.

Ideas for Spreading Holiday Cheer at the Office

Offer flexible schedules

Then people can take time when they need it for their holiday preparations and celebrations. Many organizations find that employee time spent gift shopping on the internet increases as the holidays approach. Do your employees and your organization a favour by giving them the time they need to take care of their preparations, so they can concentrate on work commitments at the office.

Provide gifts and bonuses in spendable formats

Consider grocery store gift cards or gift certificates. This directly supports their holiday celebrations and family time.

Consider making the holidays floating

Give people the flexibility to honour their religious and cultural traditions with paid time off. (Think of Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and more). The offer will go a long way to spread good feelings among people of differing faiths and cultural backgrounds.

Remember that you set the tone

Help your employees have a great holiday by spreading holiday cheer yourself! Let them know how much you appreciate them and the hard work they do all year long!

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