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Keeping the Holiday Spirit and Your Employees Productive
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Gift buying, short work weeks, hectic travel schedules and holiday parties can disrupt productivity on the job. As the holiday season begins, know that everyone is feeling the seasonal pressure. With a few simple practices you can help employees manage both, and keep the spirit during this most wonderful time of the year. At PalletCentral, we’ve compiled a few ideas on keeping employees happy (what to do if they’re not), and good advice on those holiday parties to keep your employees safe and lawsuit free.

 

Be Flexible

The holiday season is not going away. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should shut down for the next two months, but a little holiday courtesy goes a long way with employees. Be flexible and understand that workers will want to use their vacation days during this time. Employers can be proactive and start announcing time-off request deadlines early to accommodate everyone as best as possible. If an employee asks to leave a few hours early to catch a flight or make a special family dinner, let them. And when possible, give your employees shortened days on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. 

 

Offer Incentives

Create opportunities for employees to reap the benefits of their hard work. Regardless of whether you give out bonuses, employers can still offer an extra monetary gratuity to workers with the most productivity, sales or customer feedback, an extra vacation day or even gift cards for encouraging employee productivity over the holidays.

 

Celebrate

A surefire way to create a happy working environment is by giving employees something to enjoy. Let your employees decorate their work space. Plan the company party and make it inclusive of their families. A party can be even more enjoyable (and not break the bank) by making it a potluck. And make a work day fun by having a contest for the “best” worst holiday sweater.

 

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly but Your Employees Aren’t Happy?

Handling disgruntled employees is an issue that management faces at any given time of year, not just the winter months. No matter what type of business you run, at some point, one of your employees is bound to become unhappy. Smaller, family-owned businesses in particular, do not have a full-time staff person with a degree in Human Resources to handle difficult employees, therefore we thought to share some best-practices that can help.

 

Deal with Issues Promptly

As soon as you notice that an employee has an issue with the company, fellow co-workers or the management team, it is time to address it and look for a reasonable solution. The longer you take to deal with the issue, the longer the employee has to dwell on it. Extra time means problems can escalate, allowing time to spread to others throughout the company, and creating an uncomfortable work environment.

 

Deal with Issues Privately

Keep your ears to the ground. If an employee appears to be upset, you should handle the matter in a private setting. Do not embarrass or upset the unhappy worker further by airing their differences in front of their colleagues. Consider handling the situation at the end of the day to allow your employee to go home and consider the conversation without interference. They will appreciate your consideration and the one-on-one meeting with you to discuss their concerns.

 

Remain Professional

Patience is important. It is easy to become frustrated when dealing with irritated employees, however losing your patience can only escalate the problem. It’s critical to not speak negatively about the employee and ruin your reputation, and respect with your other employees. Your staff expects you to act in a professional manner and to be able to handle stressful situations as they arise.

 

Keep an Open Mind

In severe cases, disgruntled employees can disrupt the entire operation. There may be valid reasons behind the employee’s complaints or personal issues at the root of the problem. Either way, it is important to keep an open mind and listen to your employee. You may learn that they already have a solution for the problem. If not, legal guidance may be required.

 

A good pep-talk alone won’t make a happy employee, it’s important to take time to listen and set goals for your employees before problems escalate. Assign one person to handle the disgruntled employee and their concerns so that the remainder of small business can carry on as normal,and keep a happy, productive environment for the rest of your staff.

 

References

  • A Small Business Guide to Handling Disgruntled Employees by Dee Fletcher.
  • Degruntling” Disgruntled Employees by Leon Noone.
  • Articles from About.com Human Resources by Susan Heathfield.

 

Human Resources: About.com

We’ve found a great collection of human resource articles and references by HR experts. You can sign-up for free newsletters on a variety of topics, delivered regularly to your email box. Articles on HR Management: FAQs/Basics; Culture; Improve Workplace Communication; Job Descriptions/HR Samples; Free Policies, Law and Employee Relations; Motivation, Recognition and Retention; Performance Management; Recruitment and Staffing, among others at humanresources.about.com.

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