Supporting your employees is an integral part of being a good boss. It helps you build trust within your organization and shows your commitment to your team.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy for us to forget that our employees are just as important as we are. While they may not spend time with their families or friends this year, many of them will still have a lot on their plates at home. So, whether you’re an employer or a manager, here are 12 ways to show your appreciation for your employees during the holiday season:
1. Provide more schedule flexibility
This is one of the easiest ways to support your employees during the holiday. Many employers offer flexible schedules throughout the year, but now is the time to start if yours doesn’t. You can also encourage your employees to use vacation days early, so they don’t need to come into the office over the holidays. If you want to make sure your employees know you appreciate them, consider sending out a companywide email letting everyone know that you’ve been working hard to keep things running smoothly while they’re away.
2. Offer workers the choice to work from home
If your employees prefer to work from home, let them! This gives them the freedom to stay close to their family without worrying about missing deadlines or keeping clients happy. It also helps prevent burnout by reducing stress levels and allowing your employees to recharge after a long day.
3. Motivate your employees to get some much-needed rest
It might seem like a luxury to take time off, but taking time off positively impacts productivity. According to a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, workers who took vacations were more productive than those who didn’t. And according to another study, employees who took breaks had higher energy levels and better moods than those who did not.
So, instead of forcing your employees to come into the office, please encourage them to take time off to enjoy themselves. You’ll be helping them feel good about themselves and your organization simultaneously.
4. Reduce People’s Workloads
While it might sound counterintuitive, reducing workloads can help your employees avoid burnout. The problem is that most companies don’t track workloads. But, there are ways to measure them. For example, you could ask each employee to fill out a survey before and after the holiday break. Then, look at the results and see which business areas need improvement. By doing this, you can improve employee satisfaction and morale.
5. Enhance your creativity when it comes to supporting parents
The holidays are a stressful time for both parents and children. That’s why it’s essential to find ways to support your employees’ families. One way to do this is by offering to cover childcare costs for parents who need to work. Another idea is to provide a babysitting service for employees who would otherwise have to leave their kids at home alone.
6. Build up communications on Mental Health
Many employees struggle with anxiety and depression during the holidays because they feel isolated from their coworkers. A recent study found that nearly half of employees surveyed said they felt depressed during the holidays. So, ramping up communications around mental health can go a long way toward supporting your employees.
For example, you could create an internal forum where employees can share their feelings anonymously. Or, you could hold a town hall meeting where all employees can speak freely about any issues they may be facing.
7. Help your team members to give back
Many organizations hold events to raise money for charity during the holidays. These events allow employees to get involved in something meaningful while giving back to their communities. There are many ways to participate in these events. Some ideas include:
Host a food drive
One way to help others is to collect nonperishable items for local charities. For example, if you’re hosting a food drive, you should consider donating the food to a local shelter or soup kitchen.
Volunteer at a nursing home
Volunteering at a nursing home is a great way to connect with seniors and show them love. Plus, you’ll be able to spend quality time with them and learn a lot about their lives.
If you want to donate blood but aren’t sure where to send it, check out the American Red Cross website. They will direct you to the closest donation center.
Visit needy children
If you’re looking for a fun way to help others, visit needy children. This program allows you to volunteer at schools, daycares, hospitals, and other places where children live.
8. Give a holiday gift
Giving gifts to your employees during the holidays can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to show your appreciation for their hard work. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much money. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to you.
One great place to start is with your company’s corporate culture. If your company values generosity, then you should follow suit. For example, you can offer bonuses to your top performers or donate to a cause your employees care about.
Another thing to consider is whether or not to give cash or merchandise as a gift. Of course, money is always appreciated, but if you’re looking to save money, consider getting your employees something practical such as a new pair of shoes or a backpack.
9. Employ virtual tools to connect workers
Many families gather around the dinner table during the holidays to celebrate the season. However, some families choose to stay connected through social media instead. Unfortunately, this means that your employees will likely spend less time face-to-face with family members than usual.
That being said, technology has made it easier than ever to keep in touch with loved ones over the internet. For instance, you can use video chat services like Skype to connect with friends and relatives. Or, you can set up a Facebook group so everyone on your team can post pictures and videos of themselves.
10. Check on your workers
It’s easy to forget about your employees when you’re busy celebrating the holidays. However, taking a few minutes to check in with your employees can help ensure that they’re having a good time.
You can send emails asking your employees to let you know how things are going. Or, you can call them to say hello. Either way, this simple gesture shows your employees that you care about their well-being.
11. Foster self-care and well-being
The holidays can be stressful for anyone. That’s why it’s essential to make sure your employees have the resources they need to handle the stress. One way to do this is by promoting wellness programs within your organization.
You can encourage your employees to sign up for yoga classes or meditation sessions. Or, you can provide them with free access to online courses that teach them how to manage stress effectively.
12. Consider your well-being as well
Finally, remember that you are just as important as your employees. It’s easy to lose sight of this when spending so much time with others. But, making time for yourself is essential to staying healthy and happy.
So, if you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, here are some suggestions:
Get enough sleep
One benefit of getting enough sleep is that it helps you feel better physically. Additionally, sleeping well improves your mood and makes you more productive at work.
Exercise releases endorphins into your body, giving you energy and boosting your mood. Plus, exercise also reduces stress levels.
Eating nutritious foods keeps your immune system strong and prevents illness. Also, eating healthy food helps you maintain a positive attitude.
Spend time with loved ones
Spending quality time with your family and friends is one of the best ways to improve your overall well-being. So, try scheduling regular dates with your spouse or significant other.
Connect with a friend or counselor
If you struggle with depression or anxiety, consider talking to a professional specializing in these issues. A therapist can help you identify any underlying causes of your feelings and offer advice on coping strategies.