The holidays are, as the song goes, “the most wonderful time of the year.” They can also be the most stressful between increased workloads, year-end reviews, and the dreaded “office Christmas party.” But before you get worried, there are a few strategies to minimize that end-of-year craziness and use the holidays to your advantage.
Anticipate your needs
Many businesses see increased activity around the holidays, and the added time management wrinkle of employees requesting vacation days makes for a scheduling nightmare. Proactively anticipating your needs, encouraging your employees to finalize their plans early, and bringing on temporary staff to fill the gaps can cut down on headaches and arguments.
Take the chance to be the good cop
With all the stress the holiday period causes, it’s easy to forget the warmer sentiments behind the season. It’s proven that employees who feel appreciated will be happier and work harder. A small personal gift, or even just an earnest handwritten note showing your appreciation, can work wonders in addition to being an earnestly good human gesture. A similarly intentioned letter of appreciation to your clients is another low-cost way to spread goodwill.
- Listen to what your employees are saying, and know their circumstances. If a worker is new, sympathize with the challenge of a new start. If they had a difficult year personally, thank them for their professionalism and hard work. If he or she has done better than usual professionally, celebrate those achievements.
- If you have had a good professional experience with someone from another company or a person in the same company who works under another supervisor, try praising the value of that relationship to the person’s superior.
Stay the boss
It can be tempting to let your hair down around the holidays, but cutting loose around the employees can lead to problems. Maintaining your separation for the sake of your position may not be fun, but it won’t compromise your authority, either. A thoughtless remark or poor-taste joke after a few drinks can damage what were previously solid business relationships, and damage the confidence of your employees in both themselves and you.
Managing the holidays is a big task. Contact us today and we can help give your business the flexibility it needs to succeed.