December is known worldwide to be a festive season.
People running around either celebrating Christmas or start planning for a wild new year’s eve. Whatever the plan is for many, the month of December is known for it’s loving spirit, going on a gift frenzy spree, and bid farewell to the year were each lived a happy and a sad memory more than once (and is actually wishing for a better coming year — don’t we all?).
In the business world, it is becoming rare to find the celebrations of December exceeding than just some ornaments, flashing building lights, and a “Secret Santa” game between employees to “enhance” team spirit.
But, the main question remains “Is It Enough?”.
So, what happens in December normally on a business level?
* Projects need to be wrapped up and delivered
* Sales opportunities need to be closed
* All payments need to be cashed in by the company to close on the fiscal year
* Employees need to close on their tasks before going on holidays
* Employees spend most of their December’s paycheck on gifts/food/events
So what does that mean?
**ADDED STRESS **
Yes, Stress! And eventually, who would be finalizing all the points above prior to end of year?
You guessed it!
So, what should companies do to help out their employees in the festive season?
We can take a minute and day dream about your Boss calling you out in front of your fellow employees, patting you on the back with a great smile, making you feel you are the best asset this company has ever had, and grant you a big bonus check like the one you get when you win the lottery.
And as you keep day dreaming, your boss shows you to your new office (no more cubicles for you), leather seats, city view, and a huge desk with a secretary that takes on your daily orders and meetings.
Not to forget that special contract set on your desk which states that after you sign it, you are officially a shareholder and part-owner of the company you work at.
Amazing, isn’t it?
OK, “Fingers Snapped”, back to reality!
“That Ain’t Gonna Happen!” (Unless your parents own the business 😉 )
As managers, directors, executives, and owners of a business, what are the 5 points you should do to keep your employees happy in December?
- Pat On The Back
That’s a dandy job you did this year son. We are proud of having you on board with us
From time to time, make sure to keep acknowledging your employees for the hard work they put throughout the day. Acknowledgment makes employees feel appreciated and that management has the visibility on what they are doing.
Make December a month where you compliment your employees, and take note to do it frequently since guess what? “IT’S FREE”, yet take care of not doing it too much that it becomes ineffective.
- Give them the day off without deducting it from their Annual Leave
Ho Ho Ho … Go Enjoy the day with your family and friends… and remember.. Merrrry Christmasssss
The 24th is a special day where you find everyone preparing to celebrate Christmas eve, wrapping gifts, setting them up under the tree, making the kids excited that Santa will be here, and preparing a family dinner.
Yet, many companies still take out the joy of Christmas eve by making their employees work full/half day.
December 24 is not a normal day, and guess what? In case you think that the work done on December 24 will make your company turn loss into profit; then consider getting some business counseling since you got it all figured out wrong.
Your employees’ happiness, at least throughout this month, and especially this day, cannot be measured by the money they can generate for the company, since we all agree, money cannot buy happiness (for you out there who are skeptical about this, let us debate this point some other time). For that, grant them a day off on the 24th, without deducting it from their annual leave.
Let them enjoy it with family and friends.
Let them go last minute Christmas shopping.
Let them stay home with the kids instead of having them caroling in traffic coming back from work…
- Return on Incentive (R.O.I.)
As for me: I’d rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small. I’m confident we can make Twitter big! ✌️ ~ Jack Dorsey – Twitter C.E.O.
Who is your most important asset in the company?
Bonuses are just framed incentives that are limited due to budget/sales/profit/loss etc. But what if you have something that you can grant to your employees that will make them work for it yearly in a productive and profitable manner, in addition to keeping a high retention rate of talent?
You can check out what Jack Dorsey did for Twitter employees (please spare me the wall street mambo-jumbo for now) and how that lead to something that makes an employee part of something they will work for harder and harder with time; since now, they are partially part of the company and not a contracted personnel anymore.
I`m not saying do what Jack Dorsey did, but i am pretty sure you will come up with a great idea to help out, and if not… (well consider a coach, they really do help 😉 )
The fruits of your hard work has eventually “paid” off…. here is 10% of your yearly income! Enjoy it big time while i go get myself a Ferrari through your hard work and sleepless nights. I`ll let you take a picture near it to post onto Instagram ~ Oh the Sarcasm…
Bonuses has been the long awaited prize for each employee throughout the year. In case you hear a company giving hefty bonuses which are equivalent to 7/8/even 9 paychecks, then there is certainly a catch behind it; normally long working hours and killing employee’s social life.
Yet, does that mean giving small bonuses reflect the opposite way around? Certainly Not.
Keep in mind that many employees put on hard work so that they can feel appreciated, and many favor the financial appreciation more than anything else. For that, don’t be a “Scrooge” this December and make your employees feel they are well appreciated.
Yet, keep your eyes open for one small thing. Bonuses are not all the time in a form of financial gratification. Many companies now have different approaches to bonuses which can be in the form of vacation with all expenses paid, gift vouchers that can help the employee keep part of his/her paycheck in their pocket, coupons, yearly subscriptions to gym, electronics, etc.
So what type of Bonus giver are you?
(In case you don’t know your employees well enough, then i suggest it’s about time to visit and read about our S.F.E.R.E. framework service here)
- Constructive Feedback for individuals to keep them motivated
We all need people who will give us feedback. This is how we improve ~ Bill Gates – Microsoft Founder
It’s that time of year where you have to sit with your employee(s) and start explaining how well they did this year. “How well they did this year” is a very broad vague term which eventually results in a huge action plan for the employee on how to enhance and exceed expectations for the upcoming year.
So, where did all the “how well they did this year” go?
The issue with feedback is that for some or many managers, they still persist on giving the weak points at more depth and how to improve since they think that this is the best way to help grow an employee for the upcoming year. The meeting starts with a 2 minute overview with how well they did well this year and a 30 minute “hammer-time” on what they didn’t achieve or have to improve if they want to do better.
I see how that question is murmuring on your lips “How should i give feedback then?”.
Glad you asked 🙂
just go over the following 4 tips and you will be fine
- Use an appropriate technique(s) to deliver feedback, one that works well for you. (a couple of them “3 + 3”, “The Elevator Version”, “Retelling”, “The Sandwich Technique”, etc.)
- Be a good listener, don’t let your employee speak with having only the intention to deliver the response you previously had in mind.
- Use facts, proven points. Do not just assess on what you have heard, or that one small slip that the employee had done earlier in the year. Remember, you need to have your employee leaving the meeting motivated enough to work hard for the next year and not mad at having tens of points on how to improve.
- Be clear about the road map you and your employee need to create for the upcoming year. A detailed plan, with small details and a timeline are enough to get you started.
Sometimes, you tend to get caught up in the business cycle that you forget the people behind your success. True that you might have started it all on your own, yet you didn’t reach the top by yourself.
Take the time to grant your employees a loving gesture(s) on this festive season, and remind yourself that a happy employee is a productive one. These are your best assets that can help you reach the top more than once, and with a big possibility help you stay there.
So what will you be doing in this festive season for your employees? Or better yet, will you be on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list?
Happy Holidays everyone …