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Blog Authored by:  Jeanne Hines, SPHR

Did you know that the week before a holiday is one of the most stressful times of the year for your employees?  Workers are often less productive the week before a major holiday due to demands being made on them by family, work and others. 

Workers who are planning to take time off during the holidays are generally doing their best to get ahead of their workload.  Unless your organization is unusually busy during the weeks closest to major holidays, you are well-advised to lighten up on the demands you make of your already-stressed-out workers.  It will help to create the kind of culture where people want to stay and help encourage staff retention.

Before you hang the stockings at work, here are a few suggestions to make it a more pleasant holiday season:

  • If you have any gift exchanges at your workplace, keep the dollar limit to a minimum.
  • Consider surveying employees to determine whether they would rather have a company party, gift certificate, or cash payment in the amount you budgeted for your holiday party.
  • If you have a party, encourage casual dress so employees won't have the extra expense of purchasing special clothing.
  • Encourage your employees to volunteer or participate in a company-sponsored fund-raising event such as Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, or gift tree.  Helping others will not only boost their morale, but it will also boost your brand in the community.
  • If you have one, distribute your company policy or guidelines on holiday decorations and music well in advance.
  • If you have an employee assistance program, make your staff aware of it through payroll stuffers or posters.
  • Be sensitive to people who don't wish to participate in holiday events for religious or personal reasons.  Make sure everyone understands holiday events are voluntary.
  • Plan your payroll so that it doesn't coincide with bank holidays which can cause a delay in the availability of earnings.

These simple tips can help to make the season a little brighter.  We wish you and your family our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Posted 8:46 AM  View Comments

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