One of the easiest things you can do to boost employee morale: set a holiday schedule in advance

Every year, I run across examples of how NOT to do the end of the year holidays at a workplace. It blows my mind that bosses (you know, those guys and gals who are supposedly in charge) don’t do one of the simplest things they can do to boost employee morale.

They don’t announce a holiday schedule in advance.

This is one of those issues that sets apart the total (and I’m sorry for this word) amateurish way that small businesses are run compared to corporate behemoths. I point out in that the big companies are a pleasure to work for in many regards because they don’t miss paychecks, they announce holiday schedules, they have HR departments to resolve complaints.

Giving your employees the holiday schedule for the year is simply professional. And when things change, tell the employees. Give them the information they need to make plans. Be open.

This is quite possibly, the easiest thing a small business can do to boost morale and show employees they are supported. Don’t wait until the week before Christmas to figure out who needs to cover what shift the next week. Your employees are likely tense about the holidays to begin with and you’re contributing to that holiday stress by not letting them know–well in advance–when they’re expected to work. As a result, those employees think bosses are incomptent jerks who don’t consider their employees personal lives. And you know what, they’re right.

It’s New Year’s Resolution time. If you’re one of these bosses, resolve to set a holiday calendar in January for the rest of the year. Sit down on January 2nd and look ahead. Figure out what days you’re giving off for the rest of the year and then send an email with that schedule to your entire company. Don’t be the person who screws up people’s family plans next December. You’ll start losing employees and respect.