Here Come the Holidays: How to Celebrate and Include Your Employees
Although the holiday boom is great for business, taking a break and celebrating your success with all your employees is essential. Without further ado, here's how you can celebrate and include everyone.
Give Employees a Break When They Need It
For most people, the holidays are a time for enjoying the company of friends and family. Many times, this involves observing special holiday or spiritual traditions together.
It's important to give everyone time off around the holidays, but only assume that some of your employees will celebrate Christmas. Give your employees a chance to tell you when they'd like to spend their holiday time off, and do your best to accommodate their traditions.
In the spirit of holiday giving, be generous within reason when it comes to time off. A day here and there around the holiday season will help account for travel, holiday preparations, and recharging for the new year.
Your employees will appreciate your generosity and return the favor with dedication to the success of your small business when they return.
Discuss Decorations, and Allow Employees to Decorate
A big part of the holidays involves dressing up the business with tasteful decorations, and you shouldn't hesitate to do so. A bit of holiday cheer helps keep spirits high when work gets incredibly hectic.
However, discussing what kinds of decorations will be going up is crucial. A brief chat about what everyone is comfortable with is all that's needed. Only some of your employees will celebrate the holidays the same way, and it's important to get their thoughts before decorating.
One way to ensure that everyone has a chance to celebrate in their own way is by allowing your employees to decorate their workspaces. Remind everyone to keep their decorations work-appropriate and let the fun begin!
A Little Generosity Goes a Long Way
Regardless of how you celebrate, the holidays are always a time for kindness and goodwill to others. Your customers will undoubtedly appreciate holiday discounts and personalized thank yous, but remember to recognize your employees a little, too. You don't need to break the budget to make your generosity clear—a small gift card, an inexpensive gift, or even a handwritten thank-you note for all their hard work is enough to make your employees feel valued.
If your employees want to get in on the gift-giving, you can set up an anonymous gift exchange. It's a great way to have a little fun and share in the holiday spirit—make sure you set clear limits on how much money is being spent and what kind of gifts are acceptable.
Throw a Casual Holiday Party…
Although holiday parties typically generate a lot of excitement, they can also stress people out. Instead of renting an expensive venue and setting strict dress codes, do yourself (and your bottom line) a favor and try something a little more laid-back.
Hosting a casual celebration at your workplace is a great way to make your employees feel comfortable since they're already familiar with the location and people there. There's no need for expensive catering—you can keep it simple with store-bought items, or you can ask everyone if they're comfortable pitching in potluck style.
A no-frills holiday party means less stressing about the details and more time spent enjoying the festive environment and bonding with each other.
…Or Schedule a Fun Holiday Event
Getting everyone out of the workspace is another excellent way to bond with each other during the holiday season. If you plan on scheduling an event, start by asking everyone what kind of activities they enjoy, or provide a list of different options and take a vote. It's important to start asking these questions early in the season so you have ample time to prepare and schedule something.
It's also important to remember that not everyone will be interested in holiday parties and events, and that's okay. If you have employees that would prefer to spend time at home and with family, respect the way they want to celebrate and give them that opportunity.
Celebrating Should Be Fun for Everyone
Everyone should feel included and have fun celebrating the holidays with their employees. Be respectful of each other, spread kindness around, and enjoy the holiday season together!