Posted by Kelly Grant, TCC Senior Technical Recruiter

Nearly every employee can share a holiday horror story when their company got it wrong around the holidays. Boring holiday parties, $5 gift cards to a shop no one likes, or having your time off request approved and then being told you must work overtime.

An article by Meredith Wood posted on the website outlines six common mistakes that small businesses make during the holidays.

She states that “nobody wants to lose out on new business, especially at the end of the year when it’s crunch time for meeting goals and quotas. But respecting the needs of your team is important to keeping your valuable employees happy.”

As we enter the holiday season, keep an eye out for the following six mistakes that employers make, and with some planning and due diligence, we can keep employees happy and productive.

  • “Mismanaging holiday pay” – To avoid this mistake, clearly outline the holiday pay schedule and give advance notice of business closures so that both exempt and non-exempt employees know what to expect in their paycheck
  • “Failing to set holiday work schedule expectations” – To avoid this mistake, holiday work schedule policies should be clearly communicated in the employee handbook and holiday work schedules should be finalized and approved prior to the holidays. As the article states “Essentially, no one should be surprised when someone does or doesn’t show up for work on a given day, even if it’s a holiday.”
  • “Putting little effort into the company holiday party” – Many people dread the company holiday party even though it can be a good opportunity for companies to show appreciation for employees and build relationships that foster a positive work environment. To encourage employees to attend, invest time in planning and if you have the budget, allow people to bring their significant others, hand out appropriate gifts and invest in good music, food, and beverages
  • “Not checking to see benefits changes” – If your company benefits package changes with the new year, clearly relay any changes to employees prior to the holidays. As the article states “Even a tiny change can leave workers feeling confused or betrayed.”
  • “Starting seasonal hiring too late” – If your company relies upon temporary help at the holidays, start the hiring process early so you are not trying to fill positions at the last minute. This can lead to disruptions in the work schedule and unhappy employees who are expected to drop their holiday plans and work an unexpected shift
  • “Asking people to volunteer instead of work” – The article cites an incident in which a major retailer failed to plan on seasonal hiring for their fulfillment centers and asked their salaried workers to “volunteer” to fill these roles. The company “didn’t have enough labor to work shifts sending out packages, so they asked their employees to do it for free instead.” As stated in the article “Working for free when you could be spending time with your family, or working to make more money to spend on your family for the holidays, is no one’s idea of a good time. And it’s not how you run a successful business.”

Proper planning prior to the holidays and good communication can help organizations avoid these mistakes and make the holidays an enjoyable time for employees as well as profitable for small businesses.

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