We have come to that ‘fun’ part of the year (also known as the ‘silly season’ due to light-hearted attitudes to activities) when the traffic seems to lessen, shopping malls become a hive of activity and everyone prepares to go on a well-deserved break.
As the holiday season kicks in, the focus shifts to juggling parties, shopping, hosting, planning, and travelling. It is easy to lose focus and momentum in the office during this time. Whilst most companies have their financial year-end in March, employees generally perceive December as their productivity year-end. Some have attributed it to employee fatigue, as well as the increased stress that comes with the holiday season. Whatever the actual reasons, there’s no inherent reason why the holiday season can’t be productive. Here are some effective means to keep your team motivated and productive during the holiday season, without having them wanting to quit.
Communicate your holiday expectations and schedule
Flexibility is key! Your team might already be sacrificing precious family time to be at work, keep them motivated by allowing them the flexibility to take a day or two off when required. Anticipate busy periods and communicate this to ensure that your team is well prepared and well aware of what is expected from them. You could look at creative scheduling options that allow employees to leave the office earlier than normal when it’s less busy to compensate for working on the busier days.
Use the time to plan
Waiting for the New Year to plan will only eat into your implementation time. The holiday season allows for plenty of downtime, which is great for planning and structuring the year ahead. Good planning in the holiday season will mean you will be ready to start the New Year running, instead of learning how to crawl again.
There is no better time to show your employees that you appreciate them than during the festive – season. Publically recognise those employees who perform exemplary work during the holidays. This can lead others to the desire to continue to exceed expectations and remain productive.
Have some fun during silly season!
Lastly, this is not the time to prove that you are capable of sucking the fun out of everything. Embrace the holiday spirit whenever you can and acknowledge this ‘silly season’. Who knows, it might bring you closer to your team and allow you to learn more about each member. The more creative you get about keeping the mood upbeat, the better the chance that you’ll sail through this time of the year without incident or lack of productivity. By incorporating a few small changes in the holiday season, you’ll help reduce workplace stress and keep your employees productive until after New Year.