“I bring you Frankenstein” How seasonal flexibility can bring great results
You have probably guessed what the first part of that title is about. I remember seeing it happen in a school nativity play some years ago. The concentration on the young lad’s face as he approached the nativity scene trying so hard not to say ‘Frankenstein’ instead of ‘Frankincense’ was brilliant to see. Even better was the Homer Simpson ‘Doh’ he muttered after he said it anyway. Of course, a room full of parents, teachers, kids and the wise man himself erupted into howls of laughter. It was a memorable moment that will live with me for a long time. These things are important, and they really matter to us.
Employees also matter
Anyone involved in employing an effective team of workers will tell you that they don’t just work for the money. Of course, a competitive salary and the expected benefits for the role are very important. The basic reason we all work is to be paid, but we can get that in any job. Effective and engaged workers also have a high level of job satisfaction and that, in turn, leads to contentment.
When we get to the Christmas holidays, and the new year after, there is a period of frantic activity in our home lives that can really start to impact on work balance. While it may be too late to do much this year, now seems a good time to look at whether there is something that could be done to make the holiday period less of a hassle and more of an opportunity to encourage a little more employee engagement.
Here are some ideas that I have seen over the years.
- Allow an extra shopping day swap out. Perhaps a scheme where you could allow a day off in December that is swapped for weekend day in January. I suspect many a stock check or office re-arrangement would go much easier if it were in exchange for a quieter shopping day pre-Christmas.
- An hour can make a lot of difference. Come the last day of working before the Christmas holiday hits it can be lovely to leave a little earlier than normal.
- Do the annual assessments and staff reviews in the run-up to Christmas. Everyone is in a good mood usually, and they will be leaving knowing where they stand with their job when they return. Research on the subject points to feedback as a real boost to morale and job satisfaction.
- Do a week of increased time for lunch. An extra half hour can be enough to grab a few bits of Christmas shopping.
That Nativity play we started this article with is pure gold in terms of memories and will mean so much to a Mum or Dad for years to come. These plays are often in the early morning, lunch time, or late afternoon, so if the workplace is flexible enough to allow parents/grandparents/aunties & uncles a bit of time out to see them, but clear enough on what that means to the employee in terms of time to be made up or not, it would mean so much to them, and that small play could generate a lot of goodwill to see you through the January blues.