As the end of the year approaches, we are all going into overdrive to finish the year off on a high note. Going into overdrive at work can cause a lot of tension and trouble for your employees. Today, we wanted to share seven ways to uplevel office productivity during the holidays. With our tips, you can get more done while preventing employee burnout and missed deadlines. While it’s impossible to have it all, we think these tips will get you close.
1. Know What Needs To Be Done
First, you need to get a thorough understanding of what projects you need to complete before the end of the year. Get an update on where projects are and what you need to accomplish before the end of the year. After you realize what you need to finish, you can dole out work to the appropriate parties or decide which projects you want to handle yourself.
The sooner you get a grip on what needs to be done, the sooner you can add temporary staff or dole out work to the team you already have. Don’t be afraid to have a before end of year meeting to establish what’s left on your company or section’s to-do list.
2. Set Expectations At Work
Now that you know what needs to be done, you can set expectations at work. Let your employees know which projects they’ll need to tackle before the end of the year and build out a realistic schedule for the tasks left on your to-do list.
You should set expectations for each employee about what you need from them. Communicate with them on how they can express their boundaries during the holidays. You can’t expect your employees to say yes to every extra project, but you should expect them to say no promptly so you can get someone else to do the work.
3. Try To Balance The Workload
With so much work to do, you can’t load all the work on one person. Holiday productivity requires teamwork. You may have a set of employees at work who always go above and beyond to get work done, but you can’t be heavily reliant on those people. Instead, you need to give other people a chance to shine.
Employee burnout is a real issue, especially during the holidays. You don’t want your employees reconsidering employment in the new year because they feel taken advantage of or unsupported.
So, divvy up extra tasks among your employees instead of piling multiple tasks on a few people. This will curb burnout and help all of your employees enjoy the holiday season.
4. Offer Overtime Hours To Those Who Want It
Employees are always looking for extra cash during the holidays. While hiring seasonal workers is a great way to reduce the workload, you may also want to consider offering overtime hours to your employees who want it.
Let your employees know that you are offering overtime hours to improve office productivity during the holidays. Instead of forcing all employees to take hours, make it optional. Provide extra hours to employees who want to take advantage of it so that those employees are more productive and invested.
If you make overtime mandatory, you might get a few people who are genuinely excited and ready to tackle the work, but you might also get some people who are there because they have to be, and their work will reflect that.
If you need more employees than those who want overtime, hire seasonal employees to pick up the slack during the holidays.
5. Remove Unnecessary Meetings
Endless meetings make it impossible for employees to get invested in the work they are doing. When your day is splintered into tiny chunks of time, focusing on a task becomes challenging. When you hold meetings, you might be messing with your employees’ flow and holding meetings during their peak productivity hours. Removing unnecessary meetings is essential year-round, but required during the holidays where focus is already fractured.
If you have fewer meetings, that means the meetings you do have must be more productive. As we’ve seen, more meetings don’t necessarily lead to more productivity, so you need to make each meeting count. Create a strict agenda for each meeting you call and make sure you stick to the script. If you can’t come up with a solid agenda covering a few topics, you might want to send an email and make everyone confirm they’ve read it instead.
Another way to kiss meetings goodbye is by creating a system for employees to update you on projects. You might want to implement a red light, green light system on your project management software. Employees can highlight projects green if they are on time and going smoothly, yellow if they are slowing down and might need some help, and red if they are behind and need your assistance. This allows you to check-in with your team daily and divide your time appropriately.
6. Celebrate Your Wins
You can’t expect office productivity to be high during the holidays if you don’t celebrate your wins!
Showing your appreciation and celebrating employees for their wins is a great way to boost morale and work ethic in your workers. We can do better with appreciating our employees, especially during such a volatile time. Everyone is on edge during the holidays trying to tackle to-do lists that are way too long. You need to celebrate all the small and big wins during this time of year.
Last week on the WorkBright blog, we discussed five ways to show appreciation for your employees during the holiday season. If you don’t know how to celebrate your wins and show appreciation for your employees, that is a great article to start with.
7. Be Patient
Last, you must be patient with your employees during this time of year. Everyone’s attention is divided into a million different places from family, to work, to taking care of themselves at the end of the year. As an employer or a manager, you need to be patient with your employees and help them get more work done.
We all have looming deadlines we need to finish up, so the frustration you may feel is valid, but you need to redirect it. Instead of getting frustrated because your employees aren’t finishing tasks quick enough, see how you can help them. What’s getting in the way, and where can you guide your employees?
Practicing patience during a hectic time can be challenging. Focus on understanding where your employees are coming from and getting your point across in the calmest way.
The holidays are a stressful time for everyone. We all have a million tasks on our plate at work and home. By implementing these tips at work, you can manage the workload and create an environment where your employees can thrive.
How will you promote office productivity during the holidays?