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The holidays can bring on stress in anyone, and that can manifest at work as well, leading to distraction and lessened work output. So from a management end, it’s important that you take notice of those parts of the workday that aren’t technically about work, but can influence your employees. In other words, make sure you have a supportive company culture during the holidays. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so make sure that your employees get enough balance. Doing so can actually enhance the “work” part of the equation. Here are some tips for better managing company culture around the holidays:

  • Take time during the day to unwind. If you need to avoid the after-work holiday party due to expenses or simply want to give employees something to look forward to during the hectic last weeks of the year, think about doing something in mid-December like ordering lunch from a favorite take-out place. Everyone takes an hour that day – no working at the desk, no meetings taking place – and simply eats and relaxes together. Allow for dress-down days if the office usually has a strict dress code, have a place where people can go and sit quietly for five minutes, or create “Hot Chocolate Thursdays” – something that shows you recognize it’s a tough time of year, but you can get through it together with a little fun.
  • Recognize signs of stress and address them. The end of the year is not the time to put together performance reviews…and base them cumulatively over the course of the year. Right now, many employees are simply trying to do their best to get the job done and aren’t at the top of their game. Check in with employees to see how they’re doing and what needs they have. Since the holidays often signal a slowdown in business in many areas, take the time for some low-stress team building that gets people out of their chairs and re-ignites working relationships.
  • Know that company culture enhances loyalty. These little and big ways you help relieve stress in the office don’t mean you’re a pushover or don’t see the need for hard work. Instead, you’ll make your employees see that you appreciate the hard work they’re already doing, and want to recognize their efforts during a stressful time of year. Doing so fosters a sense of togetherness valued by many employees more than salary or vacation time – they want to work somewhere they enjoy and are appreciated. And those employees will do better work for you…and want to stay with you!

Focusing a little extra on company culture during the holidays will help you avoid a lot of Ebenezer Scrooge comparisons and, in all seriousness, keep your employees happier, more focused, and ready for 2015. For help on how to enhance your company culture, reach out to the recruiting experts at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks.

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