In the US, employee engagement can be especially challenging in the weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Many workers want the same days off, and productivity can falter among those who remain on the job.For certain workers, the holidays bring a whole other set of set of variables: including working when other family members have the day off, opportunities for increased overtime, and scheduling around school vacations for working parents. The holidays can also bring tough weather, flu and cold season, and, for some, an added layer of stress. When employees are at work, maintaining focus and engagement can be challenging. So what can organizations do to maintain engagement during a time of year that’s full of many distractions?
I asked two of our board members to join me in a conversation about things leaders can do to manage through the holidays while keeping those who are on the job engaged with those jobs. Sharlyn Lauby, who is known industry-wide as The HR Bartender and is also President of ITM Group, and Ruth Bramson, former CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and former Executive Vice President of HR for National Grid US shared their thoughts in the podcast below in which we discuss the following questions:
- What industries do you think are affected most by the holiday season?
- There are two sides of the coin when looking at how the holidays affect workers. One side you have those workers who will be taking more time off than usual; and then the other you have employees that must work even more during the holidays – like retail associates, nurses, and emergency services personnel. For these critical and hourly workers, are there ways organizations can capitalize on the holiday season to increase morale and build a better culture?
- types of unique perks have the organizations you’ve led employed to help employees maintain high levels of motivation during the holidays?
- What are some tips and tricks that organizations can employ for managing coverage during the holidays for both critical employees and those in more of a white collar role? (e.g. ensuring a clear and consistent PTO policy; transparency about scheduling; etc.)
- Have you seen any new technologies on the horizon that show promise for helping to engage the workplace?
- Are there certain things they should AVOID doing?
Listen in on our podcast here. And have a wonderful holiday season!