stressed employee stop working waiting christmas holidayThis is such a chaotic time of the year. Vacations, family and days out of the office make our time in the office that much more hectic and hurried. In the midst of all that is going on, there are a few things that we should take some time to reflect on, and work at for the betterment of the workplace. Whether you’re a leader, or a problem solver at work, these are some actionable ways to make the workplace better for the holidays.

Showing Appreciation

Making an effort to ensure that those around you know that you value them, is very often forgotten about. It’s so easy to start taking people for granted without even realizing you’re doing it.

A leading reason for dissatisfaction at work is lack of recognition. That is a shame for several reasons, but specifically because it is insanely easy to remedy and prevent. A lot of issues in the workplace can be complicated, or they might take ample resource to fix. This particular, all too common issue of lack of appreciation in the workplace is one that simply needs to be recognized and worked on.

Here are a few easy ways to show appreciation at work:

  • Have a stack of Thank You cards on hand. There’s nothing like a hand written note to show someone that you valued their help or input.
  • Tailor those holiday gifts to their passions. A generic gift card doesn’t exactly show that much thought was given. What they say is actually true, “It’s the thought that counts.”
  • Food. Everyone likes food. Bring in some bagels, baked goods or spring for a few pizzas. It’s such a simple way to put a smile on everyone’s face.
  • Whatever effort you make toward showing your team appreciation, if it’s not genuine, it will fall flat. An iPad from a crappy co-worker is still just an iPad from a crappy co-worker.

Time Off

There are about 173 valid reasons that workers will need time off this month. So who’s going to man the ship? The issue of time off can turn into a resentful HR nightmare quite quickly.

Take control of the situation with a few of these tips:

  • Request offs and a draft schedule should be completed way ahead of time to allow room for changes and compromises.
  • There should be one way to turn in request offs. No sticky note/email/self-service portal jumbles. A defined process is best.
  • Work it out together. Make some trades and compromise among yourselves.
  • Mobile hot spots are great for getting work done on long trips. Time out of the office doesn’t necessarily always mean time off. You never know who might actually want an excuse to turn down an invite to their cousin’s boyfriend’s white elephant gift party.

Embracing Diversity

Please remember that Christians and atheists aren’t the only two groups of people in the office. Further than that, remember that religion isn’t the only aspect of diversity that should be embraced during the holidays.

  • Don’t give non-religious folks or those without children the shaft when it comes to time off or flex time. They deserve the same allowances.
  • Embrace diversity by learning about one another’s beliefs. Soliciting context about a worker’s beliefs and values (with boundaries, of course) can improve office cohesion.
  • Allow for travel time. Not everyone’s family lives 10 miles away.
  • Don’t be the a-hole who insists on calling it a “holiday tree”. Be natural and genuine with your appreciation for diversity.

Enjoy Your Time at Work

When we were children, this was the most carefree, wonderful time of the year. Now that we’re adults in the workforce, this is the most stressful, hectic time of the year. Don’t forget to stop and smell the poinsettias. As soon as you leave work, you’re running around shopping, running errands and picking people up from the airport. It sounds crazy, but while you’re at work, relax. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Have fun with your co-workers, and save the chaos for 5 o’clock.



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