5 Tips to a Peaceful yet Productive Year-End at the Office – A Human Resources Consultant’s Advice

Countdown to Christmas just got real – 2 weeks!

It’s safe to say that by now most people are in a state of panic or, at very best, a fog of excitement.

If you’re like us these things are likely going through your mind during the month of December, sometimes all within the same 60 seconds:

  • “Can’t wait for some time off!”
  • “So many errands to run!”
  • “Yay for Christmas parties.”
  • “Ugh, I don’t want to go to all these parties.”
  • “Ok, so who all gets gifts? Does my child’s music teacher REALLY need a scented candle?!”
  • “I need to make lists!”
  • “My poor bank account.”
  • “Must finish the year strong.”
  • “Let’s plan ahead for 2018!”
  • “I just want to lay on my couch and do nothing.”
  • Etc…

Sound familiar?…..

We thought so. And guess what? Your employees are going through exactly the same thing.  

The holiday season is generally associated with positive emotions and joy; however, between all the excitement and personal demands for employees outside of the office, a negative impact to the work environment often follows.

Lucky for you (people leaders, we’re talking to YOU!), we’re here to help.

Check out our 5 tips for a Peaceful yet Productive Year-End at the Office.

1.Plan Ahead

Take some time to sit down and prioritize goals for the rest of the year. Then, as applicable, allocate corresponding action items to each.

Ensure to write your thoughts down to avoid forgetting and overwhelming mental clutter.

Challenge yourself to prioritize and consider the overall impact of these goals. Must it be completed by the end of the year (such as financial month-ends) or can it wait until January (revamping those inventory forms)?

Be realistic with what is truly important and reasonable to complete.

2. Communicate

Planning is great, but without communication all you have is words and thoughts.

Be clear with employees as to what these goals are, why they are important and what role they play in accomplishing what you’ve set out.  

A verbal communication followed by a written summary is most effective to ensure confusion and misunderstandings are kept at a minimum.

3. Offer Support

As important as communicating goals with employees is, even more so is ensuring that they have the ability to complete these tasks. Understand their workload and work together to remove any potential road blocks.

Perhaps they are prioritizing something else that can wait, is there another employee who has capacity to assist, etc.?

If possible, try to keep overtime hours to a minimum during the holiday season – unless you want to be known as the office Grinch.  

4. Allow for Fun

Schedule some time for your team (whether you have 1 employee or 100) to have some fun.

If budget allows, throw an awesome Christmas party; treat your employees to a night out away from work demands and encourage socialization in a stress-free setting.

Low budget? It’s all good, Alberta, we understand! Scratch the Christmas party and pencil in an afternoon at the office for employees to enjoy. Encourage & participate in a budget friendly potluck, Chinese gift exchange and an overabundance of employee-baked (or bought – we’re not judging) Christmas sweets!

Whatever you do, make it fun and inclusive.

5. Understand

So, you’ve planned, communicated, offered support, allowed for fun and employees are STILL not as productive as you’d like them to be!

Now what?

Just understand; it’s not you, or your employees, it’s the season.  

People may take a few more coffee breaks to enjoy the peppermint flavored creamer or spend a few extra minutes in the kitchen talking about their holiday plans… and that’s ok. They will, almost definitely, be clicking “complete purchase” on their (gasp!) work computer and that’s ok too!

Unless crucial goals are being missed, performance is concerning on a higher level or red flags are being raised with attendance, allow employees a little more slack and relaxation at the office and get back to normal in the New Year.

Our final freebie tip is don’t forget to enjoy the season yourself! Some of us, as Human Resources Consultants, have been or are people leaders so we get it! We understand your stress and we understand the pressure that you’re likely feeling.

Being people leaders ourselves aside, what we can assure you is that we have worked with and coached more managers than we can count. Believe us when we say that a happy leader is more likely to have happy employees and a happy employee equals a more productive employee. See how that works?!

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!!!!