4 Step Guide To Helping Your Employees Balance Work and The Holidays
Nearly every employee can relate to the challenge of balancing work and family during the holidays; there is shopping to do, gifts to wrap, preparations to make, meals to prepare, and cleaning to finish, all while ensuring continuity and excellence at work, covering for those who have taken days off for the holidays and ensuring the team can celebrate together, too. Who can do it all?
Well, one thing’s for sure: employees that get support and flexibility from their employers during the holidays are most likely to be able to balance it all.
To help reduce your employees’ stress levels and also keep them motivated throughout the holidays and beyond, work to provide creative and innovative little perks that specifically help employees find balance this time of year. Be that holiday-friendly employer with these 4 ideas:
#1 – Childcare for a Night
Consider offering free childcare or a fun child-friendly activity with direct supervision one evening or Saturday during each holiday season. This allows employees to drop their children off with people they trust and get their shopping done without stress or little eyes nearby. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Use your own office space and man the event with your leadership team; what a great opportunity to allow the leaders to serve the employees!
- Rent a separate area, like a party room, swimming pool, or movie theater for the event.
- Partner with a local daycare facility to sponsor the event to limit liability and ensure all the supplies and safety components are in place.
#2 – Flexible Holiday Time
Consider revamping your paid time off policy to include increased flexibility during the holidays. This might include adding a couple of “flex holidays” that can be used at any time during the year or giving employees the option to get their hours in by Thursday and take Fridays off (or work half-days Fridays) from November to January. This provides your team with a great opportunity to free up time when local businesses are open and the kids are school.
#3 – Cookie Exchange
Many people still spend hours baking to share goodies with their friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues each holiday season. By hosting a cookie exchange, you can ease the burden by providing them with dozens of cookies and treats to share with loved ones while only shopping for and baking a single kind of cookie. Here’s how it works:
- Employees who choose to participate sign up and share the cookie or treat they’ll bring; all make an effort not to repeat something that has already been listed.
- To determine how many cookies each participate should make, multiply the number of participants by 6 (i.e. 20 participants = 10 dozen cookies). The participants can work together to choose a number that makes the most sense – small groups may choose to make a dozen per participant.
- Each participant, depending on the size of group, makes an agreed upon amount – somewhere between 3-10 dozen cookies (we’ll just use this example for simplicity) of the same kind – and brings them wrapped by the half dozen.
- Each participant leaves with the same number of cookies they made but in many different varieties.
The result? All the variety they need to gift without the impossible shopping and disaster in the kitchen! An added benefit for the company? A great opportunity for team-building and work-life balance for staff and leadership.
#4 – Christmas Savings Club
Sometimes the biggest barrier to work-life balance during the holidays is the expense associated with Christmas. By allowing employees to join an internal Christmas Savings Club, you can simply deduct post-tax dollars in the amount they choose throughout the year and cut them a check after Thanksgiving to use for their Christmas shopping. The program requires minimal set-up and a very minimal investment in administration (depending on the number of participants, of course) and can ease the burden for your teams during the busiest time of the year.
You’ve already taken the first step in helping your employees find work life balance by caring enough to read this article. If you take just one of these ideas and implementing one of these tips or something similarly helpful, you can improve the company culture and show your authentic care for those who work for you.