‘It’s the most wonderful time, of the year….’ Andy Williams first sang for us in 1963. He was certainly right! Every year in December we have Christmas markets to visit, bonfires to warm up with, Christmas tree lightings to witness, mulled wine and hot chocolate to drink, decorations to put up around the house, gingerbread to bake, and many more Christmas traditions to embrace. What is not to like?!
But is it really the most wonderful time of the year? There is also quite a bit of stress that comes with the holiday traditions; school dinners or plays, work functions, family obligations, and, of course, Christmas present shopping. While the decorations, lights and Christmas trees look amazing all around, it does not hide the fact that it is still dark and cold outside. So why not help your staff? We have some suggestions as to how to keep your employees’ spirits merry and make them feel valued.
Prevent End-of-the-Year Sprints
Not only can the end of the year invoke negative thinking in a lot of people; a feeling that we did not accomplish enough, did not improve anything compared to last year, it can also be a time of increased pressure and stress. More often than not, the holiday season is also the time to wrap up the previous year so as to start fresh in the New Year. This can make it difficult to keep a positive spirit alive. Rob Wormley states that the most important element to keeping your team positive is for you to be positive yourself. In other words: Do not be a Scrooge.
So how to keep your own spirits up? Well, that starts with planning. Make sure you have enough staff on for the amount of work that is scheduled to be finished. Many people are less inclined to work late during the holiday season due to family obligations. Hidden Insights suggest offering a more flexible approach; if your employees start earlier, they can also leave earlier. Or perhaps you can suggest they work at home for a few days. These options will give them time for Christmas shopping after work and are likely to reduce personal stress (source).
Have Some Fun
We experience enough stress during the holidays, so why add to it at work? Relieve your staff by having some fun! Celebrate small victories at the office, even if it is just by having coffee or bringing some baked goods (source). Besides that, do not forget the decorations! Christmas decorations will bring in the Christmas Cheer. There are many ways to organize a Christmas party, so why not organize a Christmas-themed party that gives your employees something to look forward to and a great way to close off the year and get ready for the new one.
Presents have certainly become an essential element to Christmas, but there are other ways to give back. Alan Kohll suggests that the times between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are most important to let your employees engaged and motivated. So express your gratitude. Let your employees know that you appreciate them (source). You could write a personal message on a Christmas card, write a toast to your team at your annual Christmas party, or engage in a local event together. After all, a little friendly competition may be the key to relieving stress. Lastly, involve your employees. Consider donating to a local charity in the name of all your employees which, according to Hannah Rogers, can make your staff feel better, or proud, about working for your company.
We at FourVision organize an annual Christmas party for our staff and invite them to bring their partners, we decorate our office and organize Friday afternoon Christmas drinks in the week running up to Christmas. What do you do to keep your company’s spirits up during the Holidays? We hope these tips inspire you to make the Christmas season special for your employees!