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Year-End Prep for Managers

Cue the holiday music and themed decor—the holiday season is among us! While the holidays are a time of celebration and joyous gatherings, the stress of the busy season can get in the way of enjoying the holidays. Don’t fret—all that’s needed is extra prep to ensure smooth sailing ahead.

As managers, it’s important to ease the stress for employees by prepping ahead. The end of the year entails closing out projects, tying up loose ends, and looking to the new year; these aspects can be stressful but can be minimized with proper prep. Here’s how to navigate the holiday season as a manager:

Know when your team is taking off

As the holidays are a time of celebration, employees are more likely to take time off. However, for employees to truly enjoy their time off, they’ll need to feel they are covered. 

→To ensure work coverage, have your employees notify you when they’ll be taking off as soon as possible. 

→If your organization has a company-wide holiday break, try including a buffer of a week to ensure project deadlines don’t intersect.

→Encourage employees to take time off. It can be difficult for some employees to feel empowered to step away from work, especially if the holidays are a busy time for your organization.

Be inclusive of holiday celebrations

The end of the year means a variety of holidays will be whizzing your way. Embrace the holiday season by being inclusive and celebrating different holidays. Here are just a few holidays between now and the end of the year:

Rosh Hashanah- September 15-17

Diwali-Nov 12, 2023

Thanksgiving- November 23

Christmas- December 25th

Kwanzaa- Dec 26-Jan 1

Looking for an easy way to celebrate the holidays? Create a themed shop for your employees in minutes. Explore a variety of holiday shop templates, including Diwali, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, and Jewish New Year, to match your celebration. Find more templates here.

The holiday season isn’t just limited to one holiday–it’s also important to not assume the holidays each employee will celebrate. Celebrations and the extent of celebrations may vary, so stay inclusive and attuned to your employees!

Communicate expectations and priorities

Strategize by establishing top priorities for employees. Being a manager is all about helping employees with prioritization and project management, encouraging a healthy work-life balance in the process. Be sure to acknowledge any blockers so that employees can effectively get their work done. 

In cases where your organization is still operating through the holiday season, communicate expectations. Will your organization have shortened hours? Are employees expected to still be on? What does overtime look like? Which holidays are paid holidays by the company? Will there be any holiday celebrations?

It’s better to err on the side of constant communication so you can step in and address any issues for a smooth holiday season.

Make your team feel valued 

Engage the team by making employees feel valued. As a manager, your job is to foster communication, respect, and camaraderie within your team. There are multiple routes to ensuring employees feel valued:

→Take intentional time to show appreciation for employees by vocalizing your praise. The more personalized you can get, the better. It’s crucial that employees feel acknowledged for their work and are recognized for their performance. 

→Gifting can be a way of showing appreciation, as it shows employees that you’re actively thinking about their well-being. 

→Respect your employees’ time off and holidays. Their availability may be affected during the holiday season, but employees will appreciate uninterrupted time off.  

For some roles, the holiday season can be a time of high turnover. That’s why it’s important to continually foster positive employee morale so you can work on training and retaining great talent. 

Look at overall team morale

Team morale is just as important as individual employee morale. Look at how the team is working together collectively for a holistic picture. 

  • Does the workload feel evenly distributed? If not, does your budget allow for expanding the team?
  • Are employees working well with each other?
  • What does overall team morale and performance look like?

Leverage the power of feedback

Getting feedback creates opportunities for improvement. Consider sending out different surveys to assess how the year went. 

→For customers, you could send out a survey and ask for feedback on your product, site experience, and customer satisfaction.

→For employees, you could send out a pulse-check survey to see how employees are doing.

→For clients, you could send out a survey to see if your performance is on par with their standards.

Set time for reflection

To move forward, it’s helpful to reflect back. Meet with employees to reflect on the past year and how it went. It’s essential to ask meaningful questions for the best results. 

  • What are you most proud of in the past year? 
  • Did you get to work on the projects you wanted?
  • What skills are you hoping to work on next year?
  • What are your goals for the next year? 

Prepping for the upcoming year may seem daunting, but it’s a necessary step to ensure future success! Keep an open door for communication with employees for the best results. 


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