Attendance, Scheduling, TimeClock   ·  

Simple Ways to Boost Employee Morale During the Busy Holiday Season

To promote a positive working environment and maximize efficiency, follow these four tips.

While striking a healthy work-life balance is desirable year-round, it’s not always easy during the hectic holiday season. The demands are great, leaving many employees feeling overwhelmed. To promote a positive working environment and maximize efficiency, follow these four sanity-saving pointers:

  1. Offer a flexible work schedule From shopping and decorating to juggling family gatherings and school events, time is often in short supply during the holiday season. To alleviate the pressure, allow flexible scheduling for your staff. Perhaps your workplace can allow a modified work schedule (different start time, different finish time or longer lunch break), four-day workweeks, telecommuting and other flex-time options to let employees customize their schedules.
  2. Develop a plan for vacation requests The holiday season is a popular time to visit friends and family, whether a few days out of town or a week-long vacation across country. With this uptick in travel, you need to keep a close eye on who’s taking time off, and when, so you’re meeting the needs of the business. One of the best ways to handle this is advance planning. Start accepting vacation requests well in advance of the season, require a deadline for requests and follow an approval process that ensures fair and sufficient coverage during the prime vacation months.
  3. Reward employees with gift cards While some positions may be eligible for fourth quarter bonuses – a welcome boost during the holidays – what about your other employees who performed “above and beyond? As part of a regular recognition program, consider rewarding those not in bonus-eligible positions with gift cards. These cards can be generic or specific to a local supermarket, online gift-basket company or salon that offers massages and other personal care services. They’ll help offset some of the employee’s holiday expenses, while also contributing toward services that reduce stress.
  4. Arrange a company lunch Even in tough economic times, you’ll find that holding a low-key or low-budget celebration is better than nixing a holiday party altogether. A dedicated gathering is a great way to promote camaraderie and give employees a much needed break from work. Decorate the conference room and order in a delicious spread from a popular local restaurant. If a catered lunch is too costly, organize a potluck lunch. Suggest a theme and pass around a sign-up sheet to encourage participation and a good mix of dishes. On the day of the event, encourage employees to leave a voice mail recording and an automated out-of-office email reply informing customers they’re enjoying a company function.
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