Employee Appreciation During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a hectic time of the year for all. On the home front, employees must get holiday shopping, travel plans, and child-care sorted out. On the work front, there are deadlines to be met while more staff is taking paid time off and fewer business working days. Also, there may be a lack of motivation to work due to the distractions and demands of the holidays. As employers, it is important to keep employees motivated and focused during the holidays. Employers must work harder to balance creating a festive workplace while also getting work done.

Plan Early

It is important to plan before the holidays hit to make sure deadlines are met. To fulfill business obligations, it is important to recognize that the holidays will create shortages in staff as they take more vacation time, there are fewer business working days and more social demands on employees. It is important to include employees’ needs and considerations during the holidays when creating project plans and deadlines. Project planning should consider the special issues presented during the holidays so that crucial work is completed before the holidays arrive.


It is important to create open communication with employees. Encourage employees to communicate early about their personal obligations so that everyone is aware of the workload remaining and progress of the project.  By staying in constant communication, employers can avoid surprises during the holidays when they will be short staffed. By frequently checking in with project leaders and staff regarding the status of the projects, employers can stay on top of the deadlines and avoid any mishaps.

Vacation Planning

Encourage employees to turn in their vacation requests early to be approved in a timely fashion. Urge them to talk with their peers and team members regarding the vacation time they wish to take so that everyone is not on vacation at the same time. Create incentives for them to work together to cover one another while one is on vacation. Recognize those employees who pitched in extra hours during the holiday crunch time to compensate for those who were on vacation. Allow them to take time off when deadlines have been met or projects have been completed.

Reward Employees with a Bonus

Sometimes promising a bonus if a project is completed before the holidays is a great way to motivate employees. Employees may appreciate the extra cash during the holidays and may be motivated to finish the project to take the vacation they have planned. Make sure the project expectations are reasonable so that it can be completed in time. Otherwise, unreasonable expectations may create more stress for everyone.

The holidays are a time for everyone to focus on family and social activities.  Recognizing that your employees benefit from having healthy social lives, allowing them to relax during the holidays, and supporting them with time off from work will increase employee productivity.  It is important for employers to create a work-life balance so that employees do not experience burnout and stay productive.

For legal advice on workplace issues, contact the employment and labor lawyers at MacMain Leinhauser. From our office in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Philadelphia and Chester County. Call our office at 484-318-7106 or contact us online today for an initial consultation.