How to make the holiday season happy for everyone

"Making sure the holidays go off without a hitch is a key HR responsibility."

With Halloween behind us and the end of the year ahead, employees are thinking about how they'll spend their holidays. While members of management and the HR department are no exception to this, they also have to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time during this special time of the year.

If you're in HR, take a few moments to review the most important considerations for ensuring that the holidays are as fun and rejuvenating as they should be:

Be fair with your time-off policies

Regardless of your company's vacation policy, it's practically a given that many, if not all, of your workers will ask to take time off during November, December and early January. A 2017 survey by Robert Half found that only 18 percent of American employees planned to work the entire week of Dec. 25, and there's little reason to think 2018 will be much different.

How to make the holiday season happy for everyoneThe holidays should be as great a time as possible for everyone.

This could easily cause a dip in productivity, and managers may be understandably wary about how that drop will affect the organization in the weeks and months following the holidays. But that doesn't mean the company should make staff members feel like they shouldn't take time off. The best course of action is to encourage people to submit vacation-day requests well in advance. You should also make arrangements for strategic coverage with those who aren't taking much time off. (This is where the scheduling capabilities of PeopleStrategy eHCM truly shine.)

Celebrate respectfully and responsibly
Having a diverse workforce means having a lot of people who celebrate the holidays in different ways. As noted by the Society for Human Resource Management, organizations take a variety of approaches to accommodate employees from diverse backgrounds, such as allowing workers to choose when to take their holidays instead of rigidly scheduling time-off for everyone at the same time around Christmas. Others don't assign specific holiday names to their corporate calendars at all. Whichever strategy you choose, be sure all celebrations and in-office decorations are nondenominational. 

If your business plans to hold a company party, it's HR's responsibility to establish reasonable but firm rules of conduct for this celebration, especially around alcohol consumption. There's a big difference between cutting loose and being inappropriate. 

Last but not least, keep in mind that while much of your job at this time revolves around other workers' enjoyment, you can't forget to take your own time off to recharge and celebrate the holidays with your friends and family. We here at PeopleStrategy wish you a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday season!