The holidays are upon us and when I think back to my childhood, I remember that if there was ever anything my Grandmother needed for the holiday meal, she had best gotten it before the holiday or we did without it! Back then, you would be hard pressed to find a filling-station or grocery open on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.
However, things have changed and today's generation is a whole other being. Often we are on the road to Grandma's house or worse yet, traveling for business. Large chain stores like Meijer and Wal-Mart are staying open and even the hometown grocery stores are now staying open to try to compete for a slice of that holiday forgetfulness us holiday chefs seem to suffer from! Restaurants are catering to small families, business travelers or singles who just don't want to prep a meal for one. Pharmacies are staying open to provide for our medicinal needs if we catch cold in this inclement weather. In a nutshell, entire communities that used to shut down for the holidays now remain open and doing business even on the most sacred of holidays.
So, if you are opting to be one of those businesses who are staying open, here are some tips on things you can do to help make your employees holiday a little better:
1. If possible, try to reward them with some token of gratitude. Even if it is just a gift card for a small amount, a small bonus on their paycheck or even a hand-written note, let them know that their sacrifice is appreciated. A little gratitude can go a long way!
2. Allow flexibility and swaps between your employees so that they can better accommodate their schedules and family time amongst themselves. If you're worried about last minute changes, set a deadline that all swaps must be completed by and stick to it.
3. Make a sacrifice yourself. Showing that you are also willing to put in some holiday time at the job site rather than enjoying the festivities at home while your employees are stuck at work is a real moral booster. It shows that you give the same level of commitment that you expect from them!
4. Decorate the workplace and make it as festive as possible. If they can't share in the Christmas spirit with family, it's nice to be able to feel it in the workplace.
5. And lastly, if you can't find enough employees willing or able to come in or you just hate to ask that of your dedicated, hard-working staff, consider hiring in temporary employees for the holidays so that everyone can enjoy a little time off at least for a day!
Have a merry, joyous and safe holiday season from us to you!