Navigating the holidays is usually a challenge for HR departments and supervisors tasked with ensuring employees enjoy the festivities while maintaining productivity. The holiday season, known for its inherent stressors related to family gatherings and the quest for relaxation, requires a proactive approach from HR and management to safeguard employee well-being.

HR teams grapple with managing a stream of time-off requests, often complicated by varying approaches across the organization. Maintaining fairness in leave allocation becomes paramount, ensuring no employee feels unfairly treated during the holiday season. Addressing employee burnout and countering feelings of exclusion from holiday messaging are additional challenges. HR departments can mitigate these issues by encouraging staff to utilize available benefits, including vacation days and paid holidays, and by crafting inclusive holiday messages that respect diverse backgrounds and celebrations.

Here are some things to think about and tips to have a smooth December.

Managing Absences

Effective management of time-off requests necessitates a comprehensive understanding of company leave policies, considering departmental differences in leave approaches, and recognizing typical times employees seek time off. Businesses must actively prevent any perception of unfair treatment regarding holiday leave allocation, fostering an environment where employees feel supported during the festive season. Communication is key here. If there is a denial of a leave request be sure to explain why and also make sure the denial is based on policy reasons as well as justifiable business needs.

Avoiding Burnout

Preventing burnout is a shared responsibility for both employers and employees. HR teams play a crucial role in ensuring staff utilize available benefits, particularly during a season that can be particularly demanding for those working extended hours throughout the year. Employees may be unaware of accrued time off, emphasizing the importance of HR teams promoting and facilitating the utilization of vacation days. Sometimes the most simple solution is to find out which employees have too much PTO on the books and letting them know that scheduling time off is expected and encouraged.

Inclusive Holiday Messaging

Recognizing the diversity of celebrations and non-celebrations is vital. Companies should adopt inclusive practices in their holiday communications, incorporating non-denominational messages, sharing information on various holidays and traditions, and using language that respects different cultural backgrounds.

An anonymous survey can provide valuable insights into employee preferences, guiding companies in creating inclusive holiday celebrations and avoiding potential missteps. If you need to update some policies or would like help with a survey, please give us a call!