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Keeping HR Teams’ Productivity at Work High During the Holidays

The holiday season is approaching, and with that comes excitement, expectations of rest, and often a downturn in productivity at work. But for HR teams, it’s still a busy time – recruitment processes must move forward or you’ll be left with a gap in candidates and a pile-up of work when the new year arrives. How can you help your HR team to stay focused and productive during the holiday downtime? With this list of tips, you’ll be able to lead your team to a productive winter season. 

1. Set Post-Holiday Goals 

During the holiday season, it’s easy for employees to get distracted – with all the holiday celebrations, PTO, and travel, it’s understandable. Setting goals for your recruiting and other HR tasks that will carry you well into January can help keep everyone’s focus on what needs to be accomplished in the next few months. 

If you don’t make these goals clear before the parties and time off begin, you risk either springing last-minute tasks on employees when they’re expecting downtime, which is not good for morale, or entering the new year with delays piling up and lost productivity at work. 

Instead, lay out the most important tasks and goals early on. If you need to have 3 positions filled by mid-January, for example, begin discussing the steps needed to get there from today until the positions are filled with the teams and people who will be responsible for this task. 

2. Open Conversations Around PTO Early 

Beginning to strategize early is also important when it comes to organizing time off for your teams around the holidays. Open conversations with your team members about their plans for PTO well before the holiday season gets into full swing. 51% of employees say they’re uncomfortable asking their manager for time off during the holiday season – so you may need to be proactive in kicking off these discussions. 

Also, checking in with employees early balances their need for rest and downtime, which will make them more productive at work when they return, with the need for coverage during the season. Your HR team still has tasks to complete, and ensuring your team’s PTO calendar allows for a balance of rest and coverage where needed is essential. 

3. Offer Flexible Work Options 

If your organization doesn’t already offer flexible working options, now is a great time to begin. Employees are as productive – or more productive – when working from home, according to research. During the holidays, allowing employees to come in early and leave early to enjoy family time or downtime, or to work remotely for a few days while they’re out of town visiting relatives or friends, can ensure productivity at work remains high and important tasks are accomplished. 

This flexibility also allows employees to balance the demands of their work with the leisure, rest, and time with loved ones that are an important feature of the holiday season. Your team will be able to keep up with tasks, and also return refreshed and happy to the office in the new year. 

4. Train Your Managers 

Even in HR, many managers don’t receive much training about how to handle PTO requests and manage the distractions of the holiday season such as in-office social events. Offering coaching for your team’s managers around these topics before the holiday season begins helps them keep their teams focused on future-forward tasks and their productivity at work high. 

In Conclusion 

Keeping productivity at work high for HR teams is a challenge in the holiday season. But by being proactive about training managers, discussing PTO plans with employees, and talking about future goals and tasks will help your whole team remain productive at work while still honoring their needs for rest and time off.