Out with trick-and-treat bags, in with mistletoe. It's the biggest holiday season of the year! When it comes to Christmas and the festive winter season, no one can deny that there's always an extra aura of cheer in the air.
Even at work, you'd most likely catch your employees or co-workers smiling to themselves while they hum a Christmas jingle under their breath.
However, even though you may have decked the halls, there's something you may be missing: a productivity strategy.
Once the holiday season starts sneaking in, it's far too easy for workers to become less productive. As they focus on creating their Christmas shopping list and buying presents, the amount of work they do never reduces.
So, how do you get your team to stay productive during the holiday without being the modern version of Mr. Scrooge?
If you're trying to improve your teams performance and work outputs without dampening the holiday cheer, here are a few tips to help you:
OFFER MORE FLEXIBLE HOURS
Let's admit it: it can be hard to keep up with work during the holiday season. From attending the children's school plays or handling personal responsibilities, there's just so much to do.
To help ease the burden on your team members, you could offer them the opportunity to switch up their work hours. In fact studies have shown that offering employees flexible working hours helps to increase productivity.
Don't frown yet. We're not saying you should let your team members slack at work or leave work when they feel like it.
However, you could get them to plan ahead of time in order to know when they'd be available or not. You could also use project management tools such as Slack to ensure that communication goes smoothly at all times.
DON'T DEMAND OVERTIME WORK FROM EMPLOYEES
Working overtime is like the apple in the Garden of Eden. Sometimes, you just can't help it. For instance, if you run a company that offers essay writing service, it can be tempting to want to work overnight just to get a particular project done.
However, if there's absolutely no rush, the project can wait until the next day. When employees work late into the night, there's a huge chance that the quality of work may be lower.
Make sure you plan ahead in order to create enough breathing room for your team members.
In some cases, working overtime may be unavoidable. If this is the case, you can frame it as a benefit instead of an obligation. For instance, workers who want to earn a little extra cash during the holidays could decide to work overtime.
This way, you can still get work done without ruining your team's holiday spirit.
DON'T BE A SCROOGE
When it comes to Christmas, you don't necessarily have to say "Bah, Humbug!" or hate Christmas to be a Scrooge. You could be a Scrooge to your workers just by shunning holiday banter.
During the holiday season, it's completely normal for workers to talk about Uncle Ian's new wife or the ugly new sweater they got from their mother-in-law. Let them have their moment.
You could even chip in a few jokes every now and then. Just make sure that they still get work done even as they banter and exchange childhood Christmas stories.
By letting your team members have fun at work, you'd put them in a jolly mood and they'd definitely be more productive while working.
If you have the time and resources, you could also organize a work dinner to boost everyone's spirits.
DON'T ALLOW HOLIDAY SHOPPING DURING WORK HOURS
The internet has changed a lot of things. Previously, everyone had to go to stores just to tick off everything on their Christmas shopping list. These days, it's easy to do your shopping online while drafting an article for a client.
Holiday shopping during work hours may seem pretty normal but it greatly reduces productivity.
If you're trying to boost productivity and efficiency at work, you need to start by nipping this habit in the bud.
Remind your team members that personal activities such as holiday shopping aren't allowed during work hours. They can always save that for later.
Pro Tip: If you really want to stop your team members from shopping during work hours, make sure you lead by example. Don't shop during work hours, no matter how urgent it may seem to get your cat its first pet-sized Christmas sweater.
HAVE TEAM MEETINGS REGULARLY
No one loves meetings apart from people who create them. However, during the holidays, you need meetings more than ever. You could fix team meetings every week to discuss deliverables and how to achieve them. Let your team members know what has to be done and offer pointers for achieving their weekly goals.
This way, you can rest assured that your employees will have a super productive week.
BONUS TIP: LET YOUR TEAM LEAVE EARLY ON NEW YEAR'S EVE
Anyone who knows anything about holidays knows that New Year's Eve can be super tricky. From the terribly cold weather to heavy traffic, there's a huge chance that most employees would spend most of the evening on the road.
Since your workers have been productive for most of the holiday season, you can reward them by letting them go home early on New Year's Eve.
Don't forget to include a holiday message to staff. Happy holidays!