Handling The Holidays


(By Laurie Kahn) With a large number of employees still working remotely, and others being asked to curtail their activities due to the rising number of cases, how can you best handle the holidays? Here are some ideas.

Culture and caring are more important than ever today. Regardless of whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or others, this is the time of year to show your appreciation of them working with you.

While your staff may love their annual holiday party, it is probably not going to happen this year. However, with high employee burnout, anxiety high for most, and many earning less than in past years, it is important for employers to show they care.

There are lots of options on how you can become a star in how you handle this year’s festivities. The more you can do to help their lives, the more benefits you will reap through loyalty, longevity, reputation and of course, helping you feel good which is also important.

Here are some ideas to help you navigate the holidays without breaking the bank.

Host a virtual holiday party. Set your date, book your Zoom, and create some excitement. It can be done for staff or for families. You can put together refreshment boxes yourself and either drop off or mail to be delivered that day with instructions to ‘not open’ until a designated time. You can send catered meals or even gift cards to order food to be eaten during the party. Having a theme may be something to help people use their creativity. Have a contest for who has the best decorations, for any holiday they celebrate, or who can come up with the best holiday hat, the ugliest sweater or who can create the best-looking holiday dessert. What about sending kits to make a gingerbread house that can be decorated showing different cultures.

Maybe you send a grocery gift card and have all shop for food for those in need and ask them to create a sculpture so all can vote on the best one. Maybe you gather a list of kids from a local organization and have your team use a gift card to shop for them and tie it into a contest to see who got the best or most gifts for the money. You can even host a wrapping contest to see who does the best job. Games are always popular and easy to do via Zoom.

For prizes, they don’t have to be big or costly. Think of what people need now. Maybe it is a day off, or a gift card for coffee, Amazon, groceries, or some type of service they have not been able to enjoy due to lower incomes.

Consider what you have spent on holiday parties in the past and use that amount to divide
among employees. Or have your employees decide if they want any portion to go to a specific charity.

If parties haven’t been done in the past, you can still show you care. Put together a gift list
where each employee can select what is most important to them. It could be for a main course like a turkey or ham, it could be a selection from a food vendor for a special dinner. There are many mail order food companies where you can build individualized boxes.

Be sure to share your holiday events on your social media and career pages. The more you can share your positive culture, how you treat staff, and the community will ultimately help you recruit and hire quality staff.

Laurie Kahn is the creator and founder of Media Staffing Network. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]



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