We’re in the middle of the holiday season, which in addition to being dubbed the most wonderful time of the year; it should also be called the most disrupting time of the year. Between worrying about gifts, attending holiday parties, in-laws visits, and vacation plans, it’s safe to say that the workforce is pretty distracted.
The reality is that even though your workers are still at the office, many of them might unofficially have checked out and begun their holiday hiatus. However, business doesn’t stop just because it’s the holidays, and work still needs to be done.
So, how do you keep your team focused during the holiday season without being known as the office Scrooge? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Be a Good Example
Make sure you are meeting your own performance expectations. Remember, when people see you working hard and meeting your own expectations, they are more likely to use you as a role model. In other words, don’t spend your working hours shopping for gifts online, no matter how tempting it is!
Look at your goal setting and planning processes to see where you can stress the importance of achieving goals. Be sure your employees understand the goals that must be achieved before the end of the year. If there is pressing work or deadlines, make sure you communicate the appropriate sense of urgency. If everything is urgent, people can’t prioritize. If nothing is urgent, deadlines are often not achieved. Involve employees in setting the team’s goals and objectives; this can lead to a desire to exceed expectations.
We’ve talked about it before, but a key way to engage employees with the company is to acknowledge their hard work. Recognize and reward employees for their contribution to the success of your team. Frequently offer genuine compliments to others regarding their effective job performance. Compliment coworkers on their success. Don’t forget about rewarding small achievements. Make it a priority to say positive things every day.
What are the norms and expectations around work hours? If people are expected to work 50-80 hours per week, this is likely to have a negative impact on morale and retention, especially during the holiday season. This is where you need to be realistic – while there is work to be done, you can’t overburden your employees. After all, it is crucial to maintain work/life balance for yourself and your team members throughout the entire year.
You need to face the facts that the holidays will somewhat impact workplace productivity, but as long as you are flexible and communicate to your team the priorities of the company, you will still have a productive December without acting like a Scrooge.