The time leading up to the Christmas holiday is always a challenge for business. If you are a retailer, it is hectic! Otherwise, business leaders struggle with keeping things focused on the business and not the holiday. When employees return from Thanksgiving, the countdown starts for the Christmas holiday. Even leadership can suffer the same distractions. Wrapping up the calendar year projects, dealing with last minute tax issues and juggling a flood of time-off requests blur every leader’s vision. This makes the Christmas holiday a downtime for conducting business that is meaningful. Has everyone already checked out?
Operating a Business Through the Christmas Holiday
The fact is, concentrating on accomplishing meaningful work during the Christmas holiday is a challenge. It is hard to concentrate on a ‘to-do list’ at work, when your ‘to-do list’ at home is bigger, more stressful and for most, much more demanding of our time. Leaders aren’t really in denial either, but they just accept the situation. A recent survey found that 54% of workers ‘checked-out’ mentally for the Christmas holiday by December 16th. The data showed that 6 in 10 millennials checked out before December 16th, and 40% of baby boomers check out after December 16th. The rest of the workers surveyed hung in there at least, until December 20th.
Managing Through Christmas
Short of starting waves of disciplinary actions and terminations that will surely brand you as Scrooge, finding creative ways to manage the holiday is key. Being more flexible with time off, having a dedicated shopping day(s) and being understanding and open about the true situational environment will help ease through the season. The leader’s best tool for the holiday is communication. Make sure employees understand that performance is still expected, but can be balanced with some holiday cheer.