Your employees have worked hard all year and, hopefully, demonstrated an excellent work ethic. Now, the holiday season is here — carols play throughout the stores, flickering lights hang, and parties are being planned. Amongst all the festivities, leaders have a new type of responsibility to uphold. They must keep in mind their employees, as valued members of their business, deserve reciprocity and acknowledgement, all the while doing a great job to satisfy your customers.
The holiday season does not mean the work is over. Q4 is wrapping up and business doesn’t slow down just because egg nog is being passed around. In fact, for many industries and companies, it’s the exact opposite — making your year depends on your sales between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. That success is contingent upon your employee’s determination, focus, and professionalism during the holiday rush. Events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and those last minute weekends can deliver you profits that could make your year worthwhile– but you’ll have to work for it. As you can see, ’tis the season to strike a balance.
Here’s how to focus on both employee happiness as well as achieving your financial targets.
1. Don’t stretch yourself– or your employees– too thin
This time of year adds stress and tension due to the demanding nature of operations and customer demand, but also because of time constraints. Be realistic and understand what your team can and cannot do — and help them focus on the key priorities and avoid becoming distracted. Stay close to your employees and help them navigate unanticipated issues and problems — as they are happening
2. Set a clear cut schedule around days off
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years — lots of days out of the office are coming, which means many days that productivity may deteriorate. While you may not get as much work accomplished as other times of the year, you can still plan accordingly. Many leaders tend to discourage PTO usage during this time because of the limited amount of work time already available, as long as they give their employees enough notice in advance of the expectation.
3. Don’t let stress turn you into a grinch
Successful leaders have strong emotional intelligence and they should be able to gauge their own behavior towards the team. If the stress of the holiday season is making you unknowingly become hostile, take a step back, collect your thoughts and realize the potential impact of your actions. Try to be fully aware of how you are behaving, and check in with some of your employees to make sure you are supporting them.