Keep the Holidays & the New Year Flexible

Now, more than ever, employees seek flexible work schedules as well as remote-work options. These enticing benefits can help employees stay more engaged and productive, especially during the holiday season. According to a survey from Accountemps, high stress factors during the holiday season were “holiday events and work obligations (32%), taking time off and coming back to heavy workloads (23%), and having fewer people on the job to help (18%).” While money may be one of the biggest motivators employees seek, flexible schedules and benefits are making their way to the top of the list. As we move through the busy holiday season and into the New Year, keep an eye out on what your employees are really asking for and what new employees require to say yes to your job offer.

Read further for more information on what employees want and need:

De-stress Employees

The holidays are a busy time for our companies and employees. There are deadlines to meet, events to attend, and vacations to be had. This can cause high stress levels in the office as pressure to reach deadlines sets in. The last thing you want is your employees to burnout. Do your best as a leader to keep your team on track by offering assistance to ease the year-end stress!

  • Emphasize your company’s wellness programs. This is the time of year people tend to put their wellbeing on the back burner in order to power through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Promote a holiday “Steps Contest” and provide healthier snack options along with the typical year-end sweet treats. Good exercise and healthy eating are always keys to happy and healthy employees.
  • Be available for your employees. Help them prioritize tasks, offer assistance and direction wherever you can. Do your best to create reasonable deadlines and monitor the workloads of your staff when other team members are on leave or vacation.
  • Stay in tune with your team and keep an eye out for signs of unusual stress or depression: changes in demeanor or mood swings, excessive tardiness, or decreased productivity. Employee Assistance programs (EAPs) are a tremendous resource to help employees who may encounter increased stress during the holiday season, and as always, throughout the year.

New Year, New Needs

With the New Year around the corner, prepare to implement employee benefit changes in the first quarter. In a new survey by the American Institute of CPAs, 80% of the respondents stated they prefer a job with benefits over the same job with higher pay and no benefits. Employers underestimate how valuable benefits are to workers. The top benefit preferences reported: 401(k) match or health insurance (56%), paid time off (33%), flexible work hours (21%), and remote work options (15%).
It’s no secret that employees’ benefit trends have shifted in high favor of healthcare and flex time, they are no longer perks of the job but expected benefits.

With these specific benefits becoming more and more essential to employees, it’s important to revisit the policies and procedures of your organization as they pertain to benefits and scheduling. Give employees flexible hours options, work from home privileges, and extra PTO days throughout the year. You’ll want to revisit your scheduling system see where these adjustments can be made. As the year wraps up, pay close attention to your employees as you swing through the holiday season and into the New Year. Keep an eye out for high stress levels and update what types of benefits you are able to offer them. The last thing you want is to lose your top talent so do your best to keep them happy & healthy and engaged & productive through the New Year!