Holidays – Fun or Distraction?

 

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We have a dozen holidays each year and these can seem like a distraction to a business owner or CEO is focused on reaching their goals.  Not to sound like the Grinch, but the holidays are often another way for the un-engaged employee to blow off time from getting work done. They peak of the Holiday Season starts at Halloween and ends with a new year.

Many employees consider the holidays a time to plan, enjoy, and talk about each holiday at the expense of productivity. This can frustrate leaders who become the “wet blanket” on events and spend time telling people to go back to work. I’ve seen our CEO Peer Group member maneuver these waters for years so I’ll share what I’ve learned.

How to enjoy the holidays and still keep things on track?

1.) Don’t Fight it!

Find a way to support the holidays your office will celebrate, even ones YOU don’t celebrate.  Get the staff together at the beginning of the year, or NOW if you haven’t already done this, and find out what holidays they want to celebrate at the office.  Define the activities we will allow (decorating, dressing up, having a party, etc) and the budget of time and money the company will allocate for each. Once you and the team has decided this make sure you support their efforts and have some fun.

2.) Engage your team.

Assign a few employees the opportunity to lead in the planning, administering and cleaning up for each event. Rotate this role each year so no one person gets overwhelmed or become the tyrant of that holiday (referencing Angela from The Office TV show).  This way the rest of the team can stay focused on their work, enjoy the activities, and get right back to pursuing their goals.

3.) Plan for it.

Office parties, personal vacations days, office closed days, days off when the kids are off from school, and the occasional “Fake-atietice-itice” (a temporary illness that usually falls on the first working day after a holiday weekend), can leave the team short-handed during the holidays.

Teach your team to factor in the schedules of people who will be gone and remind employees to notify the team of the days they will be gone so others don’t wait until the last-minute just to find out someone’s out on vacation when the project is due.

4.) Respect each other.

I’ve always celebrated Christmas and Easter but many of my coworkers did not.  Others may celebrate them but not a focus on Jesus Christ and his birth and resurrection, just the gifts and egg hunts. Either way, you need to set the tone for respecting each other’s freedom to celebrate or NOT celebrate the way you do.  As the Owner of your company, you have a lot of authority over others, be careful to use it wisely, and show respect for the faith perspective of others.

5.) Keep on Track.

Have communication updates and short team meetings each week to keep the team focused on the goals, deadlines, and responsibilities of the company as the year winds down.  During this time, more than ever, the team will need help to stay focused, keep up with commitments, and be available to cover for others during their time off.

6.) Relax.

Take time to enjoy things yourself. You’ve worked hard this year and you have a life too so make time to enjoy it.  I assume you have not waited until December to work on completing your goals, so plan time to stop working, be with those you love, and relax. Here is a great article on De-Stressing Christmas that you can print out and share with, or email to your team in preparation for the New Year Countdown.

We have these Holidays every year, so find a way to not only survive them, but actually enjoy them, and stay on task. If you are having an office party here in DFW, make sure to invite me, I love to karaoke!

by Robert Hunt

CEO Groups

Renaissance Executive Forums Dallas.

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  • kimmarla - Reply

    Great points, Robert – we need to set the example of how to both celebrate and take care of business.

    Activities like cookie exchanges (optional, of course) give employees something fun to do around the holidays that will actually make their lives easier. Everyone who participates make one kind of cookie, and after the exchange they all go home with a nice big assortment to share with their families and guests.

    October 31, 2014 at 06:10
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