The holiday season usually means plenty of social events and distractions. Unfortunately, this can lead to lower productivity and burn out. Follow these helpful tips to minimize issues during the holiday season.

Focus on Tangible Goals

When employees can “see” their progress, it can help them stay motivated during the holidays. You can post sales objectives, the hours left until a project deadline, or compare this year’s achievements to those of the previous year.

If employees reach a target, offer a perk such as a holiday party, gift card, or small gift. A little bit can go a long way and it certainly helps employees focus on tasks.

Prepare for Time Off

It’s normal for people to want more time off during the holidays. However, leaving all the work to a few people can lead to burn out.

Ask employees to notify you well in advance of a vacation or day off so you can juggle the schedule. Focus on ending the year with grace, instead of in a panic. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if too many people want time off and it impacts operations. When handled properly, everyone can stay on track and have fun.

Loosen Schedules

Shopping, kids’ concerts, and soirees during or right after business hours can make it difficult for employees to focus on their work. Consider allowing alternative work schedules during the holiday season so people can telecommute, take a longer lunch, start early and leave early, or start late and stay late.

As long as employees fulfill their employment obligations, they should be able to squeeze in some personal responsibilities too. However, try to stick to regular schedules as much as possible. Otherwise your business can lose momentum.

Show Gratitude

As we approach the end of the year, employees need to know they’re appreciated for the work they’ve done. Acknowledgement can recharge their batteries, instead of them slowing down and disengaging during the holiday season.

Add Fun

If your company provides a few in-office festivities, people will have fun and then get back to their work. Consider a potluck lunch or a prize for the department or person who’s smashed their year-end goals.

Music is a great way to lighten the mood in the workplace too. Play holiday tunes in the background to get everyone in the mood, but not so loud that it’s distracting. Try instrumentals rather than songs with lyrics.

Bring Everyone Together To Help Others

Nothing brings a team together faster than working towards a goal that benefits others. Set a fundraising goal for a charity, volunteer as a group for a holiday event, or donate items to your local food bank.

Make Year-End Lists

The holidays have a way of eroding agendas. Managers and supervisors need to create lists to ensure employees complete essential tasks, even during the holiday season.

Consider breaking down tasks into smaller goals that are more easily achievable. Everyone finds it more satisfying when they see progress, but especially at year-end.

Share Plans for the Coming Year

Employees benefit when a company shares their plans for a new year. They find purpose, set personal goals, and understand where the company’s heading.

Don’t leave everything until January 2nd. That could lead to a slow start, instead of a new year full of enthusiasm and intention.

Focus on Work or Home, Not Both

Those who telecommute or are self-employed need to separate their work responsibilities from what’s going on around the house. This can be challenging anytime, but especially if you have children home for the holidays.

You may want to consider an alternative location such as a library, coffee shop, or a co-working space in your area so you can complete your work with fewer distractions.

Holiday Self-Care

Wise employers manage work schedules so employees don’t have to work insane hours at year-end to meet company objectives. If employees don’t get enough sleep, take breaks, and eat properly, they won’t be productive.

Provide plenty of water and healthy snacks if employees must work more than normal. It’s far too easy for them to snack on the abundance of sugary food available at this time of the year, but it will not sustain them. These foods cause blood sugar to spike and plummet. They’re more likely to want to sleep than finish their work.

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