How to keep employees focused through the holidays
(MoneyWatch) Between travel schedules, family obligations and financial concerns, the holidays are prime-time for employee distractions. Unengaged employees can make your team inefficient and cost your company money. Recently, I spoke to Allan Steinmetz, CEO and founder of Inward Strategic Consulting, who has worked with companies like Walmart and HP. Here's how he suggests you keep your staff engaged and focused on the task at hand through the end of the year (or at least until their vacations start).
Gift them with a temporary flexible schedule.
If people are worried about making afternoon flights or being home for gift deliveries, their minds won't be on their work. Flexible schedule can allow them to do both their personal and work tasks with more ease. If you're feeling generous, Steinmetz suggests offering once a week half-days for gift shopping.
- 5 holiday greeting cards for businesses
- Why you should volunteer to work over the holidays
- Office holiday gift-giving etiquette: 7 simple tips
Plan some corporate holiday cheer.
Big bashes are great, but if finances don't permit that, don't play the part of the Grinch. "Organize a company pot luck meal or Secret Santa events," suggests Steinmetz. These cost your company next to nothing, but bringing together the whole crew will be priceless and build engagement through the new year.
Give back to others.
Nothing feels better than giving back to those less fortunate, except maybe doing that as a team. Steinmetz suggests organizing a team outing to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or shelter. If your corporate schedule doesn't allow a day off, a coat or can drive doesn't take away from the work day, but can have a similar effect.
Give them food.
"If financially possible, providing turkeys to people is always a nice idea," says Steinmetz. If that seems too cumbersome (for instance, if most of your employees take public transportation), offer discounts at the cafeteria as a thank you. For those taking one for the team and working over the holidays, providing a bagel or donut spread for breakfast will make them feel like their sacrifice is valued.
Help them wrap their gifts.
Getting all those gifts wrapped is a common source of concern and distraction around the holidays, particularly for working parents. "To alleviate this stress, set up free gift wrapping stations or even offer free gift wrapping services for your employees," says Steinmetz.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Hourann Bosci
Popular on MoneyWatch
- Reverse cell phone lookup service is free and simple
- Forbes names most powerful women 2013 10 Photos
- Student loan defaults rising despite a way out
- Rent the cake? Unusual tips to cut your wedding bill
- How to stop the mediocrity pandemic
- Top 10 professional life coaching myths
- How to organize your job hunt
- Top five 529 college plans