HR Tips for a Successful Holiday SeasonNovember 29, 2016 - By: Jason Carney
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, and that means that company culture might shift a bit during that season. There are a few ways employers can keep the holidays merry and their employees happy by being prepared and staying inclusive.
Here are four ways HR departments can help employees prepare for the upcoming holiday, as well as keep the holiday spirit up in the office:
- Remind employees about holiday PTO policies and procedures.
It’s inevitable — with the holidays comes a rush of PTO requests. Before this happens, be sure your employees are aware of your PTO policies and procedures surrounding the season. Need to make sure an entire team of employees isn’t out at the same time? Remind them to coordinate schedules with their coworkers before submitting PTO requests. Have a specific PTO roster for the holidays that needs to stay updated? Make sure each employee has access and knows what specific information they need to add.
It’s also important that you remind employees about what days are office holidays well before the season comes. This will help them plan accordingly and will make your PTO approvals much easier, as you won’t have to rework days off according to days the office is already closed.
- Make it fun.
Enhance your company’s culture by making the holidays fun for your employees. A great way to do this is by throwing a holiday or year-end party, whether it be during work hours for employees or after hours where families are welcome. Also consider getting your employees a small gift to show your gratitude during the season of giving — it can even be something small like a bag of chocolate or a gift card they can spend with their family.
- Keep the holidays neutral.
Remember, not everyone celebrates the holidays the same way. Whether it be through office decorations or holiday party invites, remember to keep the holidays religion-neutral. Doing so will help to keep everyone included and full of holiday cheer. It’s also great to encourage employees to join in on the holiday office décor by encouraging them to decorate their workspace. When you do, be sure let employees know any guidelines your company has when it comes to decorating their desk or cubicle, though.
Not only should the neutral holiday rule apply to in-office celebrations, but it should also carry over to any events sponsored or planned by the company. This means that families of all religious beliefs and holiday traditions will feel welcome as they join their loved ones’ company holiday party.
- Make an extra effort to keep up employee engagement.
Unfortunately, many employees check out mentally right before the holidays. And we don’t blame them — it’s hard to focus on work when you know a slew of presents, great food and fun family time is right around the corner. You can help them stay focused by giving them some extra incentives throughout the holiday season, such as a gift card for exceptional performance or the potential to be released early before the holiday if all projects are completed. This way, everyone wins.
When working to make the holidays as cheerful and bright for your employees as possible, remember it’s important to put into practice traditions that make sense for your company culture. Maybe decorations are a bit overboard, but a kind-hearted card will go a long way for your workforce. What tips would you recommend for a successful holiday season?