Keeping Employees Happy During the Holidays (It’s Easier Than you Think!)
For some companies, the holidays are a quiet and peaceful period. For others, especially those in the retail sector, it’s one of the busiest, most hectic times of the year.
This can mean extra stress for employees, who may be working long hours and dealing with frazzled, harried customers. Tensions can rise, making for a less-than-merry work environment.
So how do you keep the stress low and the jolly high? Here are five suggestions:
Set an Example
Employees often take their cues from their superiors. If you or your management team is stressed and grumpy, chances are your employees will be, too. On the other hand, if you maintain a sunny disposition, your staff will follow your lead.
You don’t have to be over the top. The smallest things can have the greatest effect Simply smiling at employees (and customers) and remembering to say “please” and “thank you” will create a positive atmosphere.
Plan Stress-relieving Activities
There’s no better stress-buster than having a little fun.
Schedule a quick all-employee break to walk around the block. Order in lunch. Encourage employees to talk about their favorite holiday memory. Organize a Christmas carol contest.
Make time for laughter and your employees will respond.
Recognize and Reward
Feeling appreciated is a terrific motivator and morale booster. So whether it’s helping a customer find the perfect gift or staying late to do inventory, take note when your employees go above and beyond.
Feel free to get creative with your recognition. Give a gift certificate for one hour of paid time off. Or present them with an award for “Patience with the World’s Most Obnoxious Customer” or “Jolliest Elf of the Day.”
Sure, you may not be able to work around all your employees’ holiday schedule requests. And most understand this. But if a staff member needs time to go to her daughter’s Christmas play, do your best to accommodate her.
If you’re in an office environment, consider granting comp time for extra hours worked. This will allow employees to take care of shopping and family demands while still fulfilling their work duties.
Give a Gift
If it’s financially and logistically feasible, give a gift to each of your employees as your way of saying thanks for all their hard work. Anything from delicious baked goods to a grocery certificate for a Christmas ham to cash (of course!) lets employees know that they’re valued and appreciated year-round.