Employees are on the go this time of year. They're traveling with their families and getting ready for their kids' Christmas presents. They're also doing last-minute shopping, visiting friends and family and some might also be preparing for New Year's Eve. This can lead to conflicts in scheduling, increased stress, and even sickness among employees.
To help your employees thrive during the holiday season with fewer bumps, there are some dos and don'ts you can follow as a manager or leader to come into 2023 with engaged, refreshed team members.
Do: Encourage employees to prioritize their well-being Don't: Be a hypocrite
Tell your team to take care of themselves and spend time with family while you take on their workload and burn yourself out. When managers model balance in their lives and their well-being, employees are more likely to do the same. The Organizational Managers Literature Review by the Limeade Institute states that "Managers should know that by holding themselves accountable, they also play an influential role in setting the tone for what is acceptable and encouraged within the organization and their team".
Do: make sure everyone is aware and invited to workplace celebrations Don't: make them mandatory
It is important to ask the employees what type of celebration they would like to see to ensure that it is inclusive. Adding a quick survey to your communications strategy in early December each year can tee up an inclusive holiday season. Another way to boost inclusivity in your holiday celebrations is to send out a follow-up survey to gather feedback from employees. Again, this can be short and sweet but might provide some key insights on how your organization can improve celebrations in the future.
Inclusiveness during the holidays can also mean having empathy toward those who don't see the holidays as a time for celebration. For many, the holidays can bring up memories from the past or emphasize feelings of loneliness or isolation. It's important to include these employees by ensuring you're there to support them and although you would be happy to see them attend celebrations, it is not mandatory.
Do: respect their time Don't: leave them out of the loop
Setting expectations around holidays (including vacation time and organizational holidays) is best done ahead of time. This allows employees to have peace of mind when scheduling their time off. It also opens the lines of communication up to talk about their workload and what goals they're expected to hit when things might start slowing down. Any ambiguity around when employees are supposed to be working and what they're supposed to get done can be stressful.
The holiday season can be both a blessing and a curse for employees. On one hand, you're allowed to spend more quality time with your family and friends. But this comes at the expense of losing precious hours at work. The perfect scenario? Being able to walk away from the keyboard when you want/need to.
By keeping these tips in mind throughout the holiday season, you're well on your way to supporting your employees and improving the manager-employee relationships in your organization. Happy holidays!