Holidays – Fun or Distraction?



We have a dozen each year and they are considered a right by most employees, and a distraction to most Top Executives. Not to sound too much like Scrooge, but they are often another way for the un-engaged employee to blow off time from getting his work done. They are called “Holidays,” and the next couple months are full of them.

At a time when CEO’s are focused on finishing the year strong and reaching our goals, many people consider this a time to plan, enjoy, and talk about each holiday. This can frustrate some leaders who become the “wet blanket” on events and spend time telling people to go back to work.

So how do you 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.

2.) Engage your team.

Assign 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.

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 you will missing employees during the next few months. Plan for the schedules of people who will be gone and remind them to work their own deadlines around the days they will be gone so others do not wait until the last-minute then find out he’s out on vacation that day.

4.) Respect each other.

I’ve always celebrated Christmas and Easter but many of my coworkers did not. Others may celebrate them but without the focus on Jesus Christ and his birth and resurrection; rather 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.

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.

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. And if you are having an office party here in DFW, make sure to invite me, I love to karaoke!

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by Robert Hunt Forum Leader

Forum Leader and Business Owner of 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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