Think about this…the holiday season is roughly from the week of Thanksgiving through the first week of the New Year. That’s 5-6 weeks or about 1/10th of your production year. When you consider that in most businesses (including us as a PEO), employees are distracted and much less productive during the holidays, that’s a substantial loss in annual productivity. But keeping your employees engaged in their work during this time can be a real challenge. The fact is that business owners who don’t find ways to keep their teams motivated through the holidays risk losing revenue that otherwise would show up on their bottom line.
Add in the fact that many employees will be doing some of their holiday shopping online while at work, and the problem gets even worse!
1. Get Your Employees to Buy In
Rather than hide from the challenge, hold a meeting and discuss with the team the challenge we all share in staying at the top of our game during the holidays. Brainstorm with your employees and share ideas on how to deal with this challenge. You might be surprised at the ideas they will offer up! They know their jobs, workplace, and clients, as well, or better than anyone. And if their ideas are used, all or in part, they will be more invested in the outcomes.
2. Set Very Challenging Goals that Are Specific and Measurable
Setting goals that span the holiday period is a great way to keep your team on track. Make these goals challenging but attainable for your company, and be sure everyone on your team has a goal or is part of a team goal. Make sure you communicate all goals in writing and communicate them to all employees so they can monitor their progress. Then as a team, you should set at least 3 “mile markers” or dates where the progress will be measured and shared with everyone. If a goal is missed, rally the team and move forward. If goals are met, celebrate the victory!
3. Set Your Team Up for Success
Your employees need the proper tools to do their jobs. If they don’t have good tools, chances are they’ll become frustrated and productivity will drop. This situation is only magnified with the potential distractions of the holidays. It’s pretty universal that no one likes a printer that jams frequently, or a computer that is slow and needs to be restarted all the time. This holiday season, take some time to ask your employees what’s frustrating them in their workplace. Your concern will be appreciated, and your team will likely stay a little more engaged in their work. Just make sure, when possible, you actually act on their suggestions!
4. Have Fun!
The holidays are a fun time, so make sure the work environment is fun, too. Make the workplace part of the holidays and celebrate together. In these politically correct times, too many business owners are afraid to do fun “holiday things” and that’s a shame! So whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s or whatever holidays fall over this time period, decorate, celebrate and have fun. Special food, pot-luck meals, gift exchanges, cards and recognition are all great ways to bring teams together and keep them happy and productive. Also, brainstorm with your team about ideas for making the holidays more fun for your clients. This is a great way to enhance the client experience and at the same time more fully engage your team. One of our core values at Employers Resource is…Have Fun!
The holidays will be here before we know it, so now is the time to prepare. You don’t have to suffer from low productivity during this time. In fact, this can be a time where your team actually grows closer, more efficient and better connected to your clients. Do the right things, set the right tone and let the holidays be the very best time of your year!