Holiday Hustle and Bustle: Creative Ways to Take the Grinchiness Out of the Season.

Most people are overwhelmed with stress at the holiday season (shocking, no?). There is never enough time to do everything to get ready- and we start earlier every year! Many employees are living paycheck to paycheck, so the cost of the holidays weigh heavy on their minds and hearts.

Here are 6 ideas for managers (and my favorite HR pros who use their superpowers---I mean influence--- for good) wanting to go above and beyond to support their employees:

1. Allow employees to come in late one morning. Encourage your team to use the time to get a jump on their shopping when malls are typically slow. Have employees stagger when they come in or rotate who arrives late if staffing is a concern.

2. Invite a masseuse in to provide 15 minute shoulder massages to help employees de-stress (and when you do, please invite me to drop by!). Even a short massage will help to melt away stress and give everyone a mood boost.

3. Throw a holiday party with a twist. Order in lunch and encourage everyone to take time to order gifts online. Regroup for dessert and camaraderie...and to share those BIG saving success stories! Who doesn't love a deal?

4. Introduce "Season's Best Fridays". Powering through the workweek is hard, but it's especially a challenge during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. From Thanksgiving until New Year's end the week on a high note, with a little buzz to get everyone through. Offer complimentary coffee. Make it fun and provide flavored creamers, offer assorted teas or go another direction and craft mid-afternoon mocktails to wrap up the day in style. Oh so fancy!

5. Close the office early. Encourage employees to do something for themselves to recharge their batteries: go to the gym, talk to a friend or read a book. By taking time for themselves to do something they are passionate about, they will be re-energized and they will be able to give more to others. Also, when people get rundown they get sick. No one wants a cold or the flu passing around the office right before the holidays.
Don't forget to stock up on hand sanitizer now!

Bridge from "It's a Wonderful Life"      (Seneca Falls, NY)

6. Spread an attitude of gratitude.  It really is a wonderful life!  Arrange for employees to have time off to make someone's holidays BRIGHT! Better yet, volunteer as a department or group.  Getting people out of the office helps them to relax and giving back is a great way to appreciate everything we have....and keep the focus on what the season is all about (hint: not a fat man getting stuck in a chimney).

These are just a few ideas. Start a new work tradition to show you care during the holiday season. By supporting your employees in small ways it will pay off BIG.  They will appreciate what you are doing and they will tell their friends and family. You will have more engaged employees because they feel supported and are less stressed. This will lead to goodwill- and good PR- in your community. You know people will be curious when Jenny or Sam checks in on social media indicating they are at the mall at 9 a.m. on a Monday to get a jump on her/his holiday shopping!

Have you found creative ways to support your team?

How would you LOVE your manager to support you this holiday season?

I'd love to hear from you! Please share your comments below.

Posted on November 4, 2014 and filed under Leadership, Stress, Engagement, Morale.