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The Complete Holiday Survival Guide for Managers & Employees

in Managing People Succeeding At Work

by Talmundo
December 6, 2017

Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the winter holiday season affects nearly everything at the office, from the general mood to the amount of employee coverage and the scent of the office kitchen (is that cinnamon and cloves or pumpkin spice?). End the year on a good note and launch into the new one the right way with this holiday survival manual!

Conference Room Cheer: Office Holiday Traditions Around the World

Every country and city has its own way of celebrating the holidays. If you’re an expat, recently relocated to a new area, or just curious about what your fellow professionals across the ocean are doing to spread holiday cheer, check out these common traditions around the world!

  • The United States: Many companies participate in Secret Santa, a gift exchange where coworkers randomly draw names of their present recipients. Shhhhh, it’s a secret!... Which means that everyone but Scott will know that you pulled Scott’s name. (Tip: Don’t get him any of these 8 horrible holiday presents.) Gifts are traditionally exchanged on December 25th in the U.S. so offices typically try to hold their gift exchange as close to the date as possible.
  • Holland: A holiday honoring Saint Nicholas on December 6th, Sinterklaas is celebrated with a gift exchange on December 5th or 6th. If your office is located in the Netherlands, you may find yourself observing the holiday with a small gift exchange or office lunch in early December.
  • Japan: Nothing makes for a better stocking stuffer than fried chicken, In Japan, nearly 4 million families observe Christmas with a steaming bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Join in on the festivities at work—buy a batch to share with coworkers!

Ho Ho Ho-liday Dos

No matter where you celebrate Christmas, there are a few ubiquitous rules of conduct to follow in order to stay in your manager’s good graces. Who knows? With the tips below, you may even start the new year off with better odds of promotion—our holiday gift to you!

  • Bring enough for everyone: It’s more than a little awkward if you bake cookies for your 3 favorite coworkers and exclude the other 5. When bringing goodies or gifts to work, be sure that there is enough for all.
  • Write a thank you note: Make mom proud—write thank you notes for any presents received. Also, it doesn’t hurt to write a few notes to colleagues and managers thanking them for their support or mentorship throughout the year!
  • Keep your head in the game: Life slows down around the holidays but that doesn’t mean that work should come to a screeching halt. Stay productive, if only to reward yourself with extra holiday cookies afterward.
  • Schedule vacation ahead of time: The end of the year is the perfect time to take advantage of remaining vacation hours. Just be sure to request days off ahead of time to ensure coverage if necessary.

Office Don’ts: Secrets to Not Completely Embarrassing Yourself

Dodge Santa’s naughty list this year and avoid being banned from the office—watch out for these holiday faux pas! Don’t:

  • Wear your “going out” clothing to the office party: Office attire rules still apply. Don’t be that person who shows up in a too-short dress or an ugly Christmas sweater when the dress code is really business casual.
  • Snog too much eggnog: The punch bowl may be calling your name but over-imbibing can easily lead to whispers of “Do you remember what he did at the Christmas party?” until next year’s holiday festivities. Enjoy yourself, but in moderation!

How to Not Be the Company Grinch

If you can’t wait until the radio stops blaring carols and you consider Christmas trees a citywide fire hazard, that’s okay. Just know that as a team member or HR professional, you will most likely be expected to grin and bear it nonetheless. Do your best to put on a brave face, enjoy some mulled wine (not at the office, please), and become a Christmas cheerleader to keep employee engagement high! Then, secretly rejoice when the new year finally rolls around.

The new year is a perfect time to reevaluate your company’s onboarding and cultureboarding strategies. As an HR professional, are you giving your teams what they need? Or as an employee, are you getting what you need to thrive?

Download our free Onboarding Whitepaper that explains why doing onboarding right matters, and how it can significantly boost your company’s ROI!