Do you have a business where you need people to work over the holidays? Do you feel bad about it? Though it is less than ideal, you may be able to use it as an opportunity to care for your employees better. Caring isn’t complicated. You just have to be vulnerable and kind by showing how you appreciate them. If you need some ideas - here are 5 simple ways you can care for your employees working over the holidays:
1. Acknowledge the holiday
Send out a cute or silly graphic wishing them a happy holiday, put up some decorations, bring food in or write up a sign. Use what you have to show them that you don't just see this as just another day. Your mini-celebration of the holiday reinforces that you see them as people and not as machines that you use to get work done.
2. Know if they celebrate the holiday
It’s important to know your employees individually so that you can care for them on an individual basis. If you know that someone doesn't celebrate a holiday, that doesn’t mean you should leave them out of the perks (like the cookies you brought in). But it does mean that you should show them care individually and don't assume or lump them in with everyone else. If you don't know, that's simply a chance to have a conversation to get to know them better (see #5).
3. Show you appreciate them personally
A handwritten card or a personalized email is easy - yet if you are vulnerable, it can speak volumes. A note that shares how you appreciate them and their dedication on an individual level may be the most effective way to communicate your care for them.
4. If you don’t need them and they want to go - send them home
This of course depends on the nature of your work, but if you get to a point where you feel like you can manage without them and they want to go home, send them home. I’ve had bosses do this for me before and it feels good to have them acknowledge that you have a life outside of work that you enjoy as well.
5. Use the opportunity to get to know each other better
Holidays typically provide a good environment to ask how someone celebrates and share how you celebrate. I have felt cared for in the past when people have asked me about how I celebrate holidays. Asking your employees this and sharing your own traditions can be a simple, positive way to deepen the relationship.
If you make your employees' work environment a positive and encouraging one, you’ll certainly lessen their pain of having to work over the holidays. Simply show your staff you appreciate and care for them during the holidays. I bet it you'll enjoy the time more too.