Christmas is nearly upon us. The John Lewis advert is running, city centres are trimmed up and people are starting to decorate their homes and pull on their favourite Christmas jumpers.
But what about the office?
Well, if you’re working in HR, it’s a busy time of year. There will be schedules to sort, end of year reports, maybe bonuses to be paid and numerous other things that need to be put in place ahead of the holidays.
In the run up to Christmas, balancing festivities with some of the more serious issues is key for a smooth transition in to the New Year.
1. Keeping productive
The end of the year can be a busy time for lots of employees, so it is important to be mindful of the pressure and deadlines. When the pressure is on, stress levels rise and communication can become a little less considered. Make sure people are taking breaks and getting the support that they need in order for them to achieve what they need to without burning out.
2. Christmas parties and events
It is great for a business to organise events for staff to celebrate Christmas and as a thank you for their hard work throughout the year. It is however, essential to remember that the organisation is still legally responsible for what happens at those events, even if they are outside of working hours. Make sure it is organised professionally, and that people know their responsibilities so behaviour can be kept in check. The aim is for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves and not for HR to start the year with several disciplinary or harassment cases.
3. Keeping the balance
Late nights and parties often result in a lack of sleep. Add the pressure of getting organised for Christmas and family time, and that can leave some employees feeling frazzled at the edges and attendance can start to take a dip. For some, Christmas can be a sad and lonely time of year. At work, where diverse cultures meet and mix, it’s important to remember that this time of year means different things to different people, and raises different thoughts and emotions for everyone. Keeping the right balance and a professional working environment is key.
4. Charitable giving
Christmas is the time for giving, and there’s no better cause than charity. Instead of giving gifts, offer employees the chance to get involved in charities such as the Shoebox Appeal, Operation: Christmas Child or an adopt a family programme. It is a great way to get everyone pulling together, and to help a worthy cause. It could also be the start of your organisation sponsoring a particular charity throughout the year, which can continue to bring people together with regular events to raise money for your chosen charity.
5. Providing support
All the rushing around and burning the candle at both ends can leave people paying little attention to their personal wellbeing. Provide your employees with tips on keeping themselves in tip-top condition and advice on how to balance out a little over-indulgence. Provide healthy options in the staff restaurant and fresh fruit and nuts as snacks. Let people know you plan to launch wellbeing workshops and events in the new-year as part of your HR strategy so they know you are interested in their welfare and a healthy 2017.
January is traditionally the time when more people change jobs than at any other time of year. Do all you can to keep your employees happy and motivated to stay.
Janice Haddon has over 25 years’ experience in strategic and operational human resources and management consultancy. Working across a range of sectors and with start-ups to top 20 companies, Janice is a qualified coach and has a passion for integrating strong leadership and high performance with personal positivity and wellbeing.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MA in Psychotherapy and an MBA from Henley Management College, Janice is also a Master Practitioner in NLP, a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapy Counsellor. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Organisational Health and Wellbeing and is managing director of both Morgan Redwood and Thrive in Life 360.