Navigating the Festive Season: 12 Must-Know Tips For Every Leader!

As we embrace the “festive” season, it’s essential to recognise the unique circumstances and energies each team member brings to the workplace.

Leaders play a crucial role in fostering inclusivity and ensuring that everyone feels supported, regardless of their individual situations. In this blog, we’ll delve into 12 practical tips for leaders to guide their teams through the festive season and into a new year, creating an environment where employees have the opportunity to thrive, even if they are not feeling so festive!

#1 Communicate Expectations Clearly

Tailoring Expectations: Some people are charging to the finish line with gusto and others are crawling with arms stretched out. The end goal may be the same but HOW they reach it will be the difference. Start by articulating expectations clearly, taking into account the different circumstances and commitments team members may be managing. Clarity in communication is key for reaching the finish line and sets the stage for a less stressful and more harmonious and festive workplace. 

#2 Conduct Regular Check-ins

Stay Connected: Schedule regular one-on-one check-ins with team members. But there is only a few working weeks left you say, how can I squeeze this into my calendar? If anything, the time and space you give to your people is one of the most important gifts you can give. Make it a Christmas coffee, a festive food break, a short walk in the fresh air or just a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle. Use these sessions to discuss individual goals, address concerns, and provide personalised support, reinforcing a sense of care and attention to each team member. 

#3 Flexibility in Scheduling

Adaptable Work Structures: Why do we all of a sudden have less time this time of year? Recognise the varied energies your team brings by offering flexibility in work schedules. This approach accommodates personal circumstances, ensuring that each member can contribute effectively and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

#4 Acknowledge and Appreciate

Personalised Recognition: Some people tell us in our focus groups that they have been waiting all year for a simple “thank you” or “good job”. It’s not expensive and does not require wrapping. Express gratitude in ways that resonate with individual efforts and energies. Tailoring acknowledgments creates a positive and inclusive atmosphere, making every team member feel valued and motivated for what may lay ahead. 

#5 Encourage Time Off or Out

Respecting Personal Energy Reserves: When was the last time you truly had a break? Acknowledge that individuals have differing energy reserves. Encourage team members to take time off as needed, respecting their unique ways of recharging during the festive season. For some people, time off may be more draining to energy reserves than working. How can you help them take time out if time off isn’t helpful? 

#6 Provide Resources for Wellbeing

Supporting Individual Wellbeing: We have seen so many wellbeing resources flying around over the last couple of years but don’t assume people know where they are or what may be useful for them. Promote resources for wellbeing, recognising that team members may have different approaches to self-care. Offering a variety of resources ensures that everyone has the support they need for their unique wellbeing journey. 

#7 Encourage Volunteering or Charitable Contributions 

Feeling Good About A Greater Good: If you are fortunate to experience the positivity of the festive season then “pay the festive forward”! Foster a sense of community by encouraging team members to participate in volunteering activities or contribute to charitable causes. This not only instills meaning and purpose but also ripples back into the workplace promoting a positive workplace culture and gives back to the community at the same time. Giving = Win-Win-Win.

#8 Support Social Connections

Catering to Individual Social Needs: Some cannot wait for the 7 Christmas parties in their calendar and others are coming up with 7 ways to avoid them! Recognise that team members have diverse social needs. Facilitate social connections in ways that cater to various preferences, whether through virtual or in-person gatherings, fostering a sense of connection for everyone. 

#9 Provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Diverse Support Systems: Ensure everyone is aware of and has access to a range of support systems. Employee Assistance Programs offer diverse support, providing the necessary resources for various needs that individuals may encounter. 

#10 A Real Open Door Policy

Open Communication For All Things: Maintain an open-door policy for any concerns or challenges team members may face. Create a safe space for individuals to discuss their worries or seek guidance, promoting trust and transparency within the team. In the spirit of festivity, why not encourage people to also share their successes, wins and greatest hopes for the year ahead too? 

#11 Create a Positive Remote Work Environment

Virtual Adaptability: We have all done it and know we can do it. But acknowledging that remote work environments may impact energy levels differently for each team member is something we are still working out in our workplaces. Foster a positive virtual work environment that accommodates various working preferences and helps combat isolation, particularly at a time of year when people might feel the impacts of isolation more than other times. 


#12 Plan for a Smooth Transition to the New Year

Thoughtful Return Plans: You’re dealing with a spectrum from those people potentially with a new career path in mind to those with “kicking work goals” at the top of the resolution list. Understand that returning to work after the festive season may evoke different feelings. Plan for a smooth transition by being mindful of diverse energy levels, allowing team members to re-engage at their own pace. 

Emotional intelligence is at the heart of effective leadership during the festive season. By considering these 12 tips and implementing them in a way that works for you and your team, leaders can create an environment that respects and supports the diverse energies of their team members. A workplace where everyone feels valued and able to contribute their unique strengths to the collective success of the organisation, will be the best possible gift in setting up the workplace for success in the new year.

Awareness Co. is committed to helping leaders create cultures of safety and care and to minimise psychosocial hazards in their workplace. Since 2017, our team of experienced Human Resources, Mental Health and Change professionals have been leading the way with practical solutions that support workplace wellbeing strategies and meet Work Health & Safety obligations.

Not sure where to start? Click here to claim your free consultation with us today.

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