The beautiful lights, music, decorations and parties create a fun and festive atmosphere as workplaces around the world celebrate multiple holidays. To quote a familiar holiday song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” That is, perhaps, unless you’re in HR.
Each year as December descends upon the workplace, it’s a time to breathe a sigh of relief as we reflect on, and rightfully celebrate, a year’s worth of accomplishments. The challenge, however, is ensuring that these well-intentioned workplace celebrations don’t result in actions and behaviors that negatively impact the culture of the organization. Nearly every HR professional has experienced both hope and headaches during the holiday season as religious and cultural traditions, as well as decked-out work areas, can spark complaints. Sprinkle in increased levels of absenteeism, online shopping sprees and office parties with alcohol (what two-drink maximum?), and you’ve got the perfect HR holiday storm. And that’s before any snow even starts falling.
Considering all the issues that organizations will encounter during the holiday season, it’s important that HR proactively communicate guidelines that will help keep the peace.
Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 28 for #Nextchat with special guest employment attorney Jonathan A. Segal (@jonathan_hr_law). We’ll chat about how HR can maximize the joy and minimize the risk during the holidays.
Q1. As an HR professional, what are your biggest concerns about the holidays?
Q2. Words matter. How does your organization brand its office party? What about greetings, cards, etc.?
Q3. How can employers maximize inclusion during the holidays, for example, with regard to decorations and notes in the workplace?
Q4. What steps can you take to minimize harassment and safety risks at your office holiday party? Aside from alcohol, what are the other do’s and don’ts of these events?
Q5. Organizations must manage the well-deserved vacation requests coupled with increased absenteeism during this season. How do you strike a balance between time off and productivity?
Q6. What gifts are considered appropriate—or inappropriate—for a colleague? For a subordinate?
Q7. How do you incorporate charitable giving into the holiday celebration at your workplace?
Q8. What wish do you have for all of your employees as we approach a new year?