Holiday Math

by Deborah Z Mark

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Seven days of Kwanzaa.  Eight nights of Hanukkah.  Twelve days of Christmas.

However you celebrate, the holiday season can add up to major headaches in the workplace.

You and your employees can reduce stress and actually enjoy the season by following the seven helpful tips below.

7 Ways to Keep the Holidays Happy

  1. Realize that not everyone observes the same holidays (some people celebrate more than one, and some don’t observe any).  Be respectful.  If you don’t already follow the Golden Rule, now would be a good time to start.  You may prefer to be greeted with “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”, but try to look at the sentiment behind the words offered by another.  Understand that many people do not know you well enough to know your faith and traditions (especially in a business setting), yet they want to offer a seasonal greeting.  The appropriate response? “Thank you – the same to you!”  Or, “Thanks so much!  I’m really looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with the family this year!”  And if you know for a fact that someone celebrates a particular holiday, go ahead and offer a traditional greeting.
  2. Clarify holiday hours and pay (this should be addressed in your employee handbook).  What hours will your business be open?  When are employees required to work?  What holidays (if any) are paid?  Be sure to communicate holiday hours to your customers as well.
  3. Hosting or attending a company holiday party?  It may not seem like you’re at work, but in a sense, you are.  Keep your attire appropriate.  (If you wonder whether or not it’s appropriate, it’s not.)  Keep your conversation appropriate as well.  Don’t let the alcohol talk too much on your behalf.  And be sure to have a designated driver to get you and your employees home safely.
  4. Understand that this is a very stressful time of year, and people may be impatient, demanding, and/or depressed.  Try to remain calm and not take things personally when dealing with others.  Sometimes a listening ear is all they need.  This doesn’t mean you have to submit to abuse, however.  If you are involved in a difficult situation, ask for help from a supervisor or manager.
  5. Don’t overextend yourself.  Prioritize tasks at work and at home.  Make a list and check it twice.  Cross off the things that can wait.  Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, don’t skip meals, and remember to eat your veggies!
  6. Don’t overextend yourself financially.  If you can’t participate in every potluck, cookie exchange, donation, or gift, just say no.  Nicely, of course.  A simple, “I’m so sorry, I’m just not able to participate this year” is sufficient.  You don’t have to share your personal details with everyone in the office.  People will understand. Most of them have been in your shoes.
  7. Be thankful.  Let your clients, customers, bosses and employees know how much you genuinely appreciate them.  By next year, people may have forgotten the gift you gave them, but they will remember your kind words.  And that’s a gift that lasts.

Happy, merry,  joyous everything from all of us at managestaff!  We sincerely appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the coming year!

image: lobster20/freedigitalphotos.net