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Creating a positive work environment during the holiday season

Keeping morale and productivity high during the holiday season can be tough. The holidays are a time for family, fun and, unfortunately, distraction. Between planning holiday getaways, attending parties and finding time to shop for gifts, December can be a difficult month to stay on-target with professional goals and to-dos. Here are some easy ways to create a positive work environment during the holidays.

Leave room for flexibility

No matter how hard you try to keep the status quo, life can get busy and stressful during the holidays. Making simple adjustments to take some of that pressure off can make everyone’s lives easier, and naturally, more positive. For instance, announcing the holiday schedule in advance can help everyone plan and not scramble at the last minute. Keeping that same schedule flexible – with room for shorter or adjusted working hours, working from home, or leaving the office a few days early – can also allow your employees to create a plan that works for them and remain positive about their work obligations.

Address issues before they escalate

If you notice that some of your employees are struggling to stay focused, don’t rely on sheer hope to lift them during the holiday season. Instead, address the problem before it grows into a considerable disruption in the office. Have a conversation with the employee and explain your concerns. A considerate chat will help them feel comfortable to share their thoughts as well, after which you can both arrive at a solution.

Get them to try finish most of their work by the first half of the month.

As we get closer to the end of the year, it’s only natural that people will start getting into the holiday spirit. Try to finish all your critical tasks during the first half of the month and don’t schedule important meetings in the last two weeks of the year, unless it’s an emergency.

Offer support and appreciation

Showing your employees appreciation is essential at any time of the year, but it has unique importance during the holiday season. If you take time to create some warmth and let your employees know that their contributions are valued, you can build a positive culture that will motivate them even beyond the end of the holidays.

The holiday season can be stressful and busy for everyone involved, but it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on the work environment. If you adopt a few simple practices that address your employees’ needs and concerns, you will likely get them – and your business – through the holiday season successfully. Remember to plan ahead and always leave room for adjustments.

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