The importance of giving thanks at work and beyond

cute construction paper turkey

This time of the year is all about appreciating and giving thanks for all the things we care about and the ones we hold close.

But that holiday spirit shouldn’t stop with just our family and friends. For many people, their place of work is like a home away from home. Although it’s important to keep work relationships professional, you’ve likely come to regard some of your coworkers as close friends. In the same way you show appreciation for family and friends, so too should you be sure to give thanks for your coworkers.

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3 Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer (and Positive Employer Branding) via Social Media

We talk about employee branding a lot on this blog because it plays such an important role in recruiting and cultivating your company culture.

As a refresher, here’s the definition of employer branding that we gave you in our Employer Branding 101 post:

“the focus of employer branding is to enhance the overall image of the brand in order to attract prospective top talent, increase employee retention, etc.”

In short, the way you treat your employees from the time they are candidates (really even before) to a few years down the road helps determine how outsiders (read: potential candidates) see your company.

One part of the year where companies pay particular attention to their employees (though we think it should happen all-year-round) is the holiday season, making the holidays a great time of the year for strutting your “employer-branding” stuff.

To help you capitalize on that, here are a few ways to spread holiday cheer (and positive employer branding) via social media:

  1. Give a shout out to your employees on social media
    Recognizing your employees’ hard work is an important part of employer branding because it creates a sense of value among your employees. Along with thanking your employees personally–which we suggest first and foremost–take your gratitude to social media and tweet a little thanks, or make a post on Facebook and Google+. You don’t have to be specific (though some companies might go that route); a quick and simple ‘thanks’ is all you need to reinforce the recognition you’ve already given
  2. Show off your holiday party
    If you plan on having a holiday party this year, consider showing it off to the social media world. Taking the party to Instagram or Pinterest with some photos is a great way to show what your company is like–just make sure your employees are comfortable with you posting their pictures. You can also take photos of the decorations around the office, which is a great way to show off your holiday spirit and maybe even get your employees excited for the festivities to come.
  3. Highlight your charity of choice
    During this time of year, companies often partake in a charity event such as Toys for Tots, or a volunteer program at a shelter. Highlighting these efforts will not only show how thankful you are for the employees who join in on the charity, but also helps attract likeminded individuals to your company and culture.

Spreading the holiday cheer via social media is a great way to boost positive employer branding, and a great way to attract potential candidates.

And although social media certainly isn’t a be-all-end-all solution for boosting employer branding, it’s a good place to start. Especially over the holidays, customers, potential candidates, and passive readers alike are all looking for fun, cheerful content to get them in the spirit, and there’s no reason that your company can’t help contribute to that trend.

What you do think about spreading holiday cheer through social media? Is it necessary or a waste of time? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Calling All Team Leaders: Helping Your Employees Fight Holiday Job Fatigue

Yesterday, we talked a little bit about what you can do personally to fight against your own fatigue during the holidays.

But as we get into the holiday season, job fatigue is (unfortunately) somewhat inevitable. Fortunately, there are ways to help reduce fatigue in order to keep performance and productivity high.

Whether you’re a CEO, a team leader, or a manager, there’s a lot you can do to help your employees fight holiday job fatigue. Here are a couple tips that we can think of:

Set an example for the team.

If “Do as say and not as I do” is the saying you abide by, then you might want to reconsider a much more employee-friendly mantra. As a leader, you should be setting an example for your team by showing them that you are willing to work just as hard, if not harder, regardless of the holiday season.

While it might be nice that you have the ability to skip out of work early to go do a little holiday shopping or see your kid’s holiday recital, you should also think about what your employees are thinking–it isn’t a stretch to say that they would probably like to join in on the holiday festivities as well. As a team leader, show your employees that you are willing to work just as much as them.

Just take a look at Boston Market CEO George Michel, who every holiday season has taken it upon himself to work behind the counter with restaurant staff from various locations. In an interview with Business Insider, Michel said, “My job is to remove stumbling blocks,” and make sure that employees feel comfortable with sharing feedback with him. By leveling with them and showing them that he is willing to get his hands dirty, Michel fosters a relationship that does a lot to help build the company.

Know your employees’ limits.

Knowing your employees’ limits is another way to help fight fatigue.

If an employee who is regularly at the top of their game begins to falter a little, take the time to see what is going on. They might be overwhelmed now with the holidays now coming into full swing.

As a leader, you need to constantly be checking on your employees, and that’s doubly true during the holidays. If they start running into trouble, try to offer them a hand and see if you can work things out, because the last thing you want is poor quality work or an employee getting burnt out.

Working during the holiday season can be tough, which is why it’s so important to try and take the steps to avoid fatigue at all cost. As a leader, you’re responsible for how your team runs, so take care and try your best to back your employees up–especially when things get stressful.

Are You or Your Employees Experiencing Holiday Job Fatigue?

Let’s be honest. As much as we love the holidays, they can certainly be stressful–we have to figure out time to go shopping, plan out our holiday dinners, entertain out of town family… the list goes on and on.

By we don’t only have to worry about what to get little Suzy for Christmas, or where we are going to put up the grandparents for their stay. We also have to worry about what is going on at work.

Between getting the time off, the deadlines, the extra amount of work added from taking time off, worrying about whether or not your co-workers will have things done on time or need your help to speed up the process, the work holiday parties, and the many number of surveys and reviews that are handed out every year, there is a lot happening at work during the holidays.

Suffice to say, all of this can end up giving us some pretty bad holiday job fatigue, which in turn affects our performance at work. In some cases, it might even result in accidents at work, causing injury to yourself or others.

With that in mind, let’s talk about a few ways to balance your life and work in order to prepare for the holidays.

Pace yourself.

The holidays happen every year, so why not pace yourself by planning ahead? Most companies require that you take time off well in advance, so don’t wait around. Get well ahead of the game so when it comes time to actually get ready for the holidays, you aren’t stuck worrying about the work that is building up at your office.

Be realistic.

Sometimes, the best way to prepare yourself for the holidays is by being realistic. Knowing your limits on what you can and cannot do in and out of work will help reduce the likelihood of holiday job fatigue. If you have a big assignment due before the holidays, it might be time to reconsider all of those holiday parties you plan on attending, or the ones you plan on having.

Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you make any huge commitments around the holidays.

Don’t overwork yourself for overtime pay. 

As we mentioned above, the risk of injury is more likely when experiencing fatigue.

Perhaps you’re burning the midnight oil to help pay for all of the holiday shopping you’ve done, but as Brian M. Mittman, New York Disability and Workers Compensation lawyer of Markhoff & Mittman, P.C., points out, “consider that a serious injury or accident will leave you far deeper in financial trouble than if you do not take on extra work you can not reasonably handle.”

Not every job is prone to serious risks or injury, but just because you are working an office job doesn’t mean that you can’t get worn out and get sick or have an accident on the way home–all of which would definitely put a damper on your holiday.

While the holidays can bring with them a lot of fun and exciting times, they can also unfortunately leave us fatigued at work. There’s not catch-all way for avoiding holiday job fatigue, but planning well in advance and taking some of these tips should help you get the most out of your holiday season at work.