The holiday season is such a great time of year and it is one time when you can go overboard to make your staff feel good about their job and your company.
In many ways, your generosity makes the holiday season for your employees, however, I do not like giving monetary holiday bonuses as they tend to become something the staff learn to expect every year rather than as a genuine gift. I find, however, profit sharing bonuses to be a great option to be given out at this time of the year.
Over the years, I have tried many different things during the holiday season to help spread holiday spirit among my employees. My favorite activity is probably coming together as a staff to provide holiday presents for an impoverished family. After all, this season is really about giving and not receiving, and there is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to reach out and help others. Every time we make one of these special deliveries, we all feel so good for the next week.
Sometimes at this time of year, I try to give gifts that meet some specific need of my staff. I try to find that thing that will really make a difference in their lives, and in years past, I have given “gifts” of time off and cash bonuses.
I have also given unique presents -- gifts that have special meaning to the individual employee. On one occasion, the only thing one of my employees could talk about all year was wanting a karaoke machine for her parties. Guess what she got for Christmas that year! Giving gifts like these requires that you know your staff’s needs, which means you have to be observant all year long.
Though most consider the holiday season a great time of year, many people suffer from severe depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. The important thing to note here is that some people have it very rough this time of year. If you notice someone struggling with depression, the best thing to do would be to kindly refer them to a mental health professional.
Now go out and make sure you and your staff have a wonderful holiday season. Remember, your kindness and generosity help create and propagate holiday spirit in your workplace. Sending you wishes for a wonderful holiday season.
Jerome S. Osteryoung, director of outreach services at the Jim Moran Institute in the College of Business at Florida State University, can be reached at 850-294-7477.