Whether you’re singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or your own holiday theme song consisting of the lyrics “I hate the holidays,” the holiday season is bright, loud, sometimes unmanageable, and it’s here. It doesn’t matter if your staff consists of 10 or 100 people—you’re the boss and it’s up to you to keep your employees cheerful during the holidays. Consider this your guide.

Decorate the Office

Decorating the office can have drawbacks because not everyone enjoys the holidays and not everyone celebrates the same holiday. However, commercial Christmas ornaments or holiday decorations can help to spice up the office and create a welcome change. Not decorating the office can make you look like Scrooge or the Grinch. Don’t be that person. Spread cheer and joy during this festive time.

Let Your Employees Know About the Positives

As everyone knows, December is a time of reflection. And if you don’t know, the end of the year is a time when people reflect on the year they just had. They want to point out the mistakes and successes, as well as identify how they can do better in the new year.

No matter what side of the argument you stand on when it comes to resolutions, your employees want to know how the company is doing. While not every company had a successful year and you don’t want to be misleading, celebrate this time by telling your employees about the positives. Tell them what went right, what strategies are working, and identify outstanding employees. Give your employees a reason to celebrate.

Allow Your Employees to Go Home Early or Incorporate Work-From-Home Days

Work needs to be completed and your employees will still have to work, but surprise them (or give them some notice) with work-from-home days or let them off early. This can give them more time to prepare for the holidays and make them feel appreciated. And, depending on where you live, a work-from-home day helps them fight the weather and frigid temperatures.

Set a Good Example

Employees don’t like hearing their bosses preach hard work, especially during the holidays, yet watch them walk out of the office early, or even worse, not come into work on a Friday. The holidays can be a fun and festive time, but you’re still running a business. You need to set a good example—one that’s positive and values hard work. Continue to put in the hours with your employees and show them you’re working just as hard as them.

Don’t Put Added Pressure on Your Employees

Between shopping and possibly dealing with unsettling family situations around the holidays, your employees don’t need more stress. The best strategy you can incorporate as a boss is to recognize this time of year while not adding any pressure.

For example, if you decide you want to hold a charity drive or volunteer day, make it during the week so your employees still have their free time on the weekends. If someone has too much work to do, then take that into consideration. The holidays are a stressful time for many people as it already is—don’t be the boss who makes it worse.

Give out Gifts During the Holiday Party (and Have a Holiday Party)

If you have your holiday office party on the weekend or non-workday, then you should have it at a place that’s not the office. Not only will this make your employees feel appreciated, but the office likely reminds them of work and some people might not be able to relax and have a good time. If you do have the holiday party at the office, then hold the party during a workday so your employees still have their weekends free. 

No matter where you celebrate, it’s encouraged to give out gifts to all of your employees. On top of that, you can hold a raffle or contests for a larger gift, such as an ibi the smart photo manager. This is a practical gift that allows the winner to be in control of his or her photos, videos, and data. A large gift alone can spice up the party and give your employees more to look forward to.

The holidays aren’t easy. However, these tips can help you keep your staff cheerful during this time of year.