Is Your Business Naughty or Nice?

With Halloween over, businesses are beginning to look towards a bustling holiday season – with employees taking vacations, offices closing for holiday breaks and end of year deadlines abounding. All of which can sound overwhelming to a business owner, who starts to ask “how will we get done what needs to be done?” Worry not, production doesn’t have to lag as long as the spirits stay high in the office.

Here at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), we take a week away from the office and host a holiday party for employees. Rumor has it this year’s party will feature karaoke! In the summer we offer summer hours as an employee benefit, but here are a few suggestions to try in your office to make sure you’re getting the most out of your employees and keeping away the holiday blues all year long:

Casual Friday! Although it may seem simple and small, everyone from entry level to management loves to relax a little as the weekend approaches.

Celebrate! Recognizing employees’ birthdays all year round makes for higher spirits for all. Passing around a card for all to sign is a nice way to acknowledge the special day, as well as a little treat to your employee’s favorite spot. It says a lot about how well you know who you’re working with.

Brainstorm! Spend an hour or two sharing ideas in an open forum with your staff. You might be surprised what Steve in accounting thinks about your marketing – don’t miss out on great ideas.

Smile! Simply sharing a smile or a story about some of your hobbies gives you a personal side and can open up communication and facilitate a more collaborative environment. Maybe talk about where you’re spending your holidays or possible New Year’s resolutions.

Party! The holiday party is ever popular, and while most of us don’t have the budget of auto tycoons, it’s still nice to make it a special event. Take the staff out on the town or maybe have an expert come in and teach them a “how to.” See more ideas here.

Keeping your staff happy all year is a challenge, but once met, has a great payoff in productivity. Make sure you take notice of how they are really feeling, beyond the standard response of “good.” Above all, being sincere is the simplest, most effective way of engaging employees, causing them to “take stake” in your organization.


About Hedy M. Ratner

Hedy M. Ratner is founder and co-president of the Women's Business Development Center, the largest, oldest and most comprehensive and successful women's business assistance center in the U.S. She blogs about entrepreneurship, working women, success stories, small business and more in “Windows to Business Success.”