The holiday season can be a distracting and unproductive time for small businesses. So much so in fact, that a whopping two thirds of workers admit to being less productive during December. Naturally, it’s within every small businesses’ interest to stay productive throughout the festive period.
Easier said than done, or is it?
Tips for Improving Employee Productivity During the Holidays
In a conversation with Small Business Trends, Raj Narayanaswamy, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Replicon, a leading provider or global project and time management solutions, provided five tips on beating the holiday productivity hangover at your small business.
Anticipate Downtime by Analyzing Historical Data
Narayanaswamy advises small businesses to anticipate downtime by collecting historical data related to attendance and performance during the holidays to pinpoint where your business has witnessed productivity downswings.
“To ensure the holiday season doesn’t affect your bottom line, the best plan of attack is to anticipate historical lag times and tackle them proactively. Collating attendance and performance data from previous years and pinpointing where your company has historically seen productivity downswings or excessive PTO use can help you decide whether you need to hire extra temporary staff,” he explains.
Offer Staff Incentives
It’s the season to forget about work and spend time with friends and family, right? Yes it is, but, as Naraayanaswamy advises, offering employees incentives such as the year-end bonus, or some additional PTO days for exemplary performance, can act as effective productivity boosters during typically slow periods.
Provide Flexible Working Patterns to Boost Morale
Narayanaswamy also suggests, “Employers often have to be a little more flexible than usual during the holiday season.”
Providing employees with the option to work more flexibly, giving them more freedom over hours and where they can work, can be particularly beneficial during the holiday season, when many members of your staff might crave flexible working patterns. Giving staff this flexibility can act as an invaluable morale booster.
Set a Goal for Your Small Business to Achieve by the End of the Year
By the end of the year, what do you want your small business to have achieved? Such ambitions should be achievable and, ideally, something each employee should be able to contribute to. The progress of these ambitions should also be tracked.
This is when collecting and analysing data is so important again.
As Narayanaswamy explains, “Small businesses tend to be lighter on processes and systems than enterprise companies, which can leave them especially vulnerable to productivity issues during the holidays.”
Having the systems in place to collect and examine the progress on goals and objectives will inform a small business of what’s working and what isn’t working. Subsequently, businesses will be able to make tweaks and amendments accordingly, generating a more productive holiday season and bringing them closer to their end of year goals.
Get Into the Holiday Spirit
If you haven’t yet put decorations and a Christmas tree up in the office, now’s the time to do so. Small things that show your business is getting into the festive spirit can go a long way in boosting morale during the holiday season, which, as Narayanaswamy notes, “means that employees are more likely to stay productive.”
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