When it comes to Christmas lists, it can sometimes feel like Santa has got nothing on HR teams’ lists of things to work through over the festive period.
Yes, the holidays are a time for giving and general goodwill, but there can sometimes be Christmas issues that come knocking on HR’s doors at this time of year.
This can include low productivity, sickness, discrimination, holiday requests, shift work requests and bonuses and incentives.
However, although it may seem endless, with a bit of planning and communication, HR and People teams can provide experiences their people will thank them for.
Our new infographic, below, breaks down 9 Christmas HR issues and how to deal with them. Here’s a taster of some of these.
Communication is key. Have clear policies on: office closures; vacation days; work expectations over the Christmas period; end of year bonuses and incentives; shifts and work schedules; overtime or extra pay over the Christmas national holidays.
These are all issues that are top of mind for employees. Communicate early so that they can plan their Christmases accordingly. Leaving this too late can catch employees unawares and have a negative impact on morale and productivity.
People might begin to flounder as the end of the year is on the horizon. Keep employees motivated by shaking up their workloads. If business as usual has slowed down, then use this time to brainstorm creative ideas for the year ahead.
Provide incentives such as flexible working. Let employees juggle the effects of late nights at corporate events and the demands of family life in preparation for Christmas by working remotely and keeping flexible hours in the office, as long as they make up their hours or complete their work.
Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so make sure that your company culture doesn’t discriminate. Include everyone in the festivities but don’t force them to join in.
Also, consider offering flexible public holidays. People can choose to work over Christmas and take their public holiday on a day that has more significance to them.
Not everyone is a party animal, so think carefully about your office party to ensure you are as inclusive as possible.
Ask your employees what they would like to do for Christmas. You may find that your people want to ditch the formal soirée and have a more informal night out, a lunch or even a group activity instead.
Have a clear corporate gifting and entertainment policy both for giving and receiving and make sure you communicate it. You don’t want someone within your organization to be unwittingly accused of giving or receiving a bribe.
Finally, don’t let your employees leave for the holidays without saying thank you.
This is your opportunity to send a powerful message to your people. Get it right and they will go home feeling positive about the company; get it wrong and they might spend the holidays feeling disillusioned with their workplace.
Also, encourage all managers to personally thank and recognize their teams for the work they have done all year around.
Christmas needn’t be a headache for HR and People teams. Clear policies and communications are a must, but trust, empathy and a human touch are equally as important.