The holidays are right around the corner, and that means holiday parties, time with family and friends, great food, time-off, bonuses, and holiday pay. But what are the best practices for both you and your team, your business and your business’ most valuable assets – the people you employ? You still have to be profitable, but also show your appreciation for the year of hard work that your team has given to your company.

So, what’s the balance? How do you know how many days to give off, how much extra pay, and how much to spend on presents, parties, or other holiday perks?

Though every company is different, and ultimately, these financial and benefit decisions are up to you, I have some best practices that I’ve been following in my own company for years. Hopefully, they can help you look at your situation and make some holiday decisions, too.


It’s About Appreciation – Not Just Monetary Value


Did you know nearly every employee doesn’t want more money, or even dental insurance and other addons, but appreciation and flexibility? Every study of recent years has shown that these two areas are how you get great workers and keep them. So show your appreciation throughout the year, not just for the holidays, and give flexibility where it’s desired.

Of course, monetary compensation is still a large part of showing appreciation in business, but it isn’t the end-all. Consider giving flexible work hours for big holiday weeks, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, or even a ‘work 20 hours, we’ll pay 40’ as a flexibility bonus around the holiday season so projects and communication needs are still met, but your employees can choose when to take time off too.


Asking is a Great Way to Take Out the Guesswork


If you are agonizing and spending hours, days, or weeks deciding what to do for your employees and business for the holidays – let me give you a great tip that will make your life much easier; ask your team members what they want.

You could guess, or assume, but your employees aren’t you, so you don’t really know what they want unless you ask. Giving them parameters will help make the conversation go smoother but giving them a choice is a great way to show appreciation and trust.

When I say ‘give them parameters’ I mean you could set the conversation up like ‘we are able to give you 5 days holiday vacation (or pay) this season – which ones would you like out of; the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day?’ or this could say 4 days, 6 days, whatever your financials allow. Additionally, if you give more time off like a week for the holiday season, ask them if they want the week leading up to Christmas, or the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Simple choices like these can mean a lot to your team and their personal or family plans.


Be Generous (But Also Realistic)


This is the season to be generous, and my company loves sharing our success with our team, as this helps motivate them to want to help us grow and continue to be successful in the future. But being smart is also a big part of holiday pay, bonuses, and benefits. Ultimately, you want to make sure that your holiday generosity doesn’t hurt the business, as your team members need stability and jobs, even more than three weeks off, or something else extravagant but not realistic or viable.

I’m not saying you should be stingy in order to pad your own pockets or the funds for the company, but you should make sure whatever you choose, is something you can actually do that will not come back to bite the company later.

This might have nothing to do with financials actually, but instead with manhours. Maybe you want to give everyone a full week off – but someone needs to man the communication lines for emergencies, and other weekly needs. Make sure you make concessions for these needs and explain why to your team so they know why some hours are still necessary, or why they need to still meet certain project or schedule requirements.


Appreciate, Ask, & Be Generous, it’s as Simple as That!


Do you have more questions about business processes, best practices, or sales and strategies? I would love to meet with you either in person or virtually to talk about the pain points in your business, it’s growth, or stagnation.

Contact me to learn more or schedule a business consultation and let’s work together in time for the holidays – and beyond!