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Five Things Your Employees Will Appreciate More Than a Holiday Party

December 4, 2023

By: Jennifer Lucas

Who doesn’t like a party? Parties are fun! There’s music, food, laughter, and great conversation. It’s a chance to connect with friends and cut loose a little.

Your office holiday party, which typically occurs during work hours, is double the fun. Instead of being paid to work, employees are being paid to not work. How cool is that? Still, there are a few things your employees would appreciate more than a holiday party. Read on for the top 5.

1. A Real Vacation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 81 percent of professionals in private industry receive some paid vacation. Yet, a study by Pew Research shows that 46% of workers take less time off than they are offered.

When asked why, nearly half cite concerns about falling behind in their work, and 43% “…say they’d feel badly about their co-workers taking on additional work.”

Technology is another culprit. Smartphones ensure that we’re plugged in virtually 24/7. We regularly send, receive, and respond to email messages off the clock. We manage to stay in touch but at the cost of precious downtime.

The bottom line? Your employees would like real time away from work without having to think about who needs what at the office or whether you’ll be displeased at the inconvenience of their absence. So, if you’re one of those managers with a reputation for piling it on and then looking sideways at your employees when they announce plans to be elsewhere, consider the costs, please. This tactic may work in the short term, but in the long term it’ll lead to burnout, workplace stress, resentment, reduced productivity, and lower work quality. 

2. A Holiday Bonus

Another Bureau of Labor Statistics study reports that 41% of private sector employees had access to nonproductive bonuses, including holiday and end-of-year bonuses.

Since money is often tight for families around the holidays, a cash bonus is a welcome way of alleviating stress for your employees and allowing them to enjoy the season more.

As a sign of employer gratitude, nothing says “thanks” quite like cash, and employees always take notice when a company puts its money where its mouth is.

3. Respectful and Effective Management

Good managers are so hard to come by, and they’re so very needed. If you’ve been hanging on to leaders who micromanage, create bottlenecks, or even abuse their staff, you’re doing your company a great disservice. Either coach these managers to greater performance or let them go. An annual holiday party can’t make up for the indignity of daily bad management. 

4. Trust

Trust is an essential quality for any healthy relationship and that includes work relationships. Your employees will do their best work when they believe they have your confidence. Every employee needs room to take some risks and make some mistakes, so don’t hesitate to give your staff space to do things their way. It’s like they say: The best managers hire good people and then get out of their way.

5. Attention

Talented employees don’t need their hands held, but most welcome a little attention every now and again.

In general, employees like to know they’re doing what you want to the standard you want and that their work is making a positive impact on the company. That’s why managers who provide regular performance feedback and are otherwise available to give guidance and support without micromanaging are considered golden by their staff.

In Summary …

Holiday parties are a positive expression of a company’s appreciation of staff, and most employees enjoy these celebrations very much.

That said, nothing makes an employee smile quite like cash, and more importantly, a party (no matter how fabulous) can’t compensate for a difficult manager, a lack of trust, or a lack of regular and constructive feedback.

If you’re feeling a little stuck about how to give your team the gift of engagement or elevate your management this holiday season, Omnia’s customer success team is here to help! Reach out to us to try an Employee Development or Leadership Style report or to ask about a Custom Report targeted to your specific challenges.

Jennifer Lucas

Jennifer originally joined The Omnia Group in 2005 as an analyst. After a brief stint away to work in project management and to start a family, her fascination with behavioral assessments pulled her back. She returned in 2011 as a member of the in-house analyst/project team. She writes and edits Custom Profiles, Targets, special projects, and articles. She enjoys being able to provide guidance to build effective, productive teams and help find strong matches for both clients and candidates.

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