Preparing Your Team for a Successful Holiday Season
The holiday season can be stressful and tiring, but it doesn’t have to take a huge toll on your employees. Get your team in the right mindset before the holidays begin by following these tips to prepare your team so they can enjoy the holidays and come back without feeling overwhelmed. You’ll all start refreshed and ready to hit the ground running!
Set Clear Expectations
As the holidays approach, it is very easy to get into “holiday mode” and out of “work mode.” After all, everyone wants to enjoy the time off with their families! Going into the holiday season, set clear expectations for your team. Tell them which projects should be finished before the holidays and which they can push until after. Give parameters for time off such as when they can leave for the holidays and what sort of schedule there might be — think of the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve as an example. Should employees be ready to work that week? Or will your company take that time off? It’s good to figure all this out ahead of time so you aren’t left scrambling at the last minute.
Schedule a Check-In with Employees
Schedule time to check in with your employees periodically so they don’t have to keep their holiday worries bottled up and can ask questions or seek guidance. Plus, scheduling time will help you make sure they’re not feeling overwhelmed. Encourage them to find someone they trust to share their feelings with, whether it’s family, friends, other coworkers, or someone else. They might also want to make changes to their schedule such as rearranging work tasks so they can avoid the busiest days at the office before and after the holidays. If an employee does become overloaded with work during this busy season because of pressure from management (e.g., responding to more than ten emails per day), then scheduling a check-in is the perfect way to discuss expectations to ensure your employees are happy and healthy!
Set an End Date Early
Start by thinking about the roles in your organization and prioritizing which members will be able to take time off. Some people may not be able to come back until after the holidays, but it is important to think about how long people can be away from their jobs because each job may require different amounts of prep before someone can come back. For example, if you work as an art director in a design firm and no one else on your team is working on anything holiday-related, then you may want to come back early (because the holiday season only lasts so long) whereas someone who works in HR may want to extend their time off through January. However, don’t forget that you will need some level of staffing during this busy season! If you plan on closing for holidays completely, make sure you have a plan in place to let customers know your holiday hours.
Define Parameters Around Discretionary Tasks
To ensure that you take care of all your business duties, tasks related to personnel and operations are given higher priority in the weeks leading up to the holidays. This doesn’t mean, however, that these work tasks can’t be handled after the holidays as well. Preparing your team and planning ahead will allow them to go home on time this year and re-enter work with refreshed minds the next week. Make sure they know what they should do when they come back from the holiday break. Take care of projects that need attention before then if possible so there is no chance of things falling through the cracks.
Take some time off for yourself during this period too; being burnt out can lead to feeling overwhelmed and not wanting to go back at all!
How do you prepare your team for the holidays? Let us know!