Sugar plums are dancing in your employee's heads along with thoughts of shopping, decorating, family, and parties. Then there is cyber shopping…very tempting with that company computer sitting on their desk and they have already looked all over for their child's wish list toy. How do you compete with all of this and keep up productivity? And, how do you do it without sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge? "Get back to work…bah humbug!"
Here are a few ideas to keep productivity high while also being sensitive to the season:
1) Set Priorities – Goal setting is important throughout the whole year, but especially during the holidays, it is important to prioritize. With all the other tasks your employees have to do right now, it may lead to an inability to decide what is the most important. Monday morning prioritization meetings where you emphasize the tasks that must be completed before Friday, help to keep the focus on what matters most. Ask employee's to develop a daily to-do list and teach them the satisfaction of checking off each task as it is completed.
2) Flex Time – If your type of business can be reorganized around a core set of hours with start and end time flexibility, holiday flex time might be for you. Bandwidth time is the hours during which work can be scheduled; let's say 7:00AM to 6:30PM. Core time, when everyone must be working, could be scheduled from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. Everyone would choose their hours for the week and a schedule posted. Flex time takes a little coordination but wouldn't it be worth it to have your employees completely focused for eight hours because they know they can take care of holiday and personal business before or after work?
3) Limit Cyber Shopping – HT Tools reports that "Employees plan to spend nearly two full working days (14.4 hours) on average shopping online from a work computer this holiday season." Time to review your personal usage of company computer policies! It is very important that employees understand the security risks of introducing viruses to your system, in addition to losing productivity, when they shop online during work. Several of my clients have installed a computer in their break room so employees can still can access the computer but only on their break and lunch times. Sounds like a fair compromise.
4) Brainstorm Ideas for 2010 – Sometimes, after the holidays, people get in the doldrums…all the festivities are at an end. This is a good time to have a team building event centered on planning for the next year. Creative activities designed to open employee's minds to all the possibilities that 2010 can bring, will bring excitement to the workplace.
The holidays can be stressful for many people. Implementing ideas that balance the needs of your employees and your company will make the holiday season pleasant and productive.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive holiday season and New Year.