It might still be fall, but by now you should already be thinking about the festive season. Depending on the type of business you run, it could be a busy or quiet time – but there are still a few things to get done before the end of the year. Getting organized now is the best way to prepare for the holiday period and ensure the usual festive stress and mayhem doesn’t affect your business.
Here are some of the ways you can prepare your office for the festive season.
Plan out the rest of the year
With a couple of months left in 2019, you’ll want to make sure that everything that needs to happen before the end of the year gets done. If there are targets that need to be met or there are end-of-year tasks that always get left until the last minute, start planning them now. Here’s a chance for you to get ahead and enjoy a less stressful road to the end of the year!
If you’ve struggled with forward planning in advance, now could be a good time to bring some new tools into the mix. There are plenty of great online project management tools that can help you set tasks, deadlines as well as share living documents to make the planning process easier for your business.
Book your holiday party
If you haven’t booked your holiday party yet, it’s time to start planning! The annual holiday party is the perfect way for your employees to let off steam and get ready for Christmas. Your holiday party can be the highlight of the year, so it’s important to get it right. Planning the office Christmas party can be a lot of work, especially if you work for a large company.
Remember to set some ground rules for your employees – Christmas is a time to enjoy, but sometimes things can get out of hand when alcohol is thrown into the mix!
Set leave policies and ensure there’s enough cover
Everyone wants to enjoy time off during the holidays, but it’s not always possible in some workplaces. If you run a store or restaurant, for example, you’ll be expected to be open throughout most of the holiday period. It’s important to be fair around leave policies, and perhaps close on key days like Christmas Day and New Year’s Day if possible.
Using scheduling tools can help ensure shifts are covered and employees get enough time off. Put rules for employee time off requests in place now so that everyone knows where they stand in the lead-up to the holidays. Completing your rotas now will help you get everything in place and allows your employees to make plans for the holidays.
Give notice to clients of any shutdowns
Many businesses shut down during the holidays, which can be a welcome break for everyone after a busy year. If you are going to be closing your doors, it’s important that you give your clients enough notice. Contact them to let them know when any final deadlines are and when you’ll be back to business. Unless you’re planning on staying on top of your social media during the holidays, you’ll also want to plan messages that let people know you won’t be active during this period.
As you approach your shutdown date, make sure you pay off any invoices that are outstanding and get your client meetings in place for the New Year. It’s always good to end the year on a positive note with the people you work with, helping you look forward to the year ahead.
Guard against flu season
While the holiday period is a time to celebrate and have fun, it is also the time of the dreaded flu season, which can cause a lot of problems or businesses. Sick days can cost businesses money, but it can make your business difficult to run – especially if you’re working with reduced staff levels during the holidays.
Taking steps to protect your office from flu can help keep your workers healthy. From encouraging healthy habits to maintaining a good supply of antibacterial cleaners, you can do your bit to stop the spread around the office. If employees feel sick or they’re showing signs of a cold, encourage them to work from home where possible to stop other employees coming down with the same thing
If you’re expecting a busy period, streamline your processes
Most businesses can identify patterns throughout the year to know when they’ll be busy. If your business tends to boom around the festive period, try forward planning now to help you get on top of things. By identifying ways to improve your logistics, you can save your business time and money as you manage the increased workload. At this time, you might want to hire some temporary staff to see you through this time to ensure you’ve got enough capacity to deliver what’s needed.
If you’re expecting a quiet period, get back on top
Meanwhile, other businesses can find that this time of year becomes quieter, with consumers or clients having less need for products or services. If this sounds like your business, use the quieter period to get on top of your workload. Is there filing or auditing that needs doing? Get it done before things get busy again – you may not get another chance! There are plenty of positive things you can do when business is slow, so take the opportunity to do something worthwhile with this downtime.
Look back over the year’s achievements
The end of the year is a good time to reflect and take a look back on the year’s achievements. Evaluating your key projects, as well as any other business successes, can help you celebrate the things you’re doing well and do more of it next year. It’s good to end the year on a positive note, and can help you establish your priorities for the New Year too.
Don’t forget to thank your customers or clients
The end of the year presents a great opportunity to keep your clients sweet and offer them a token of appreciation for their business over the past year. Many businesses present their clients with hampers or gift baskets as a thank you, as well as a reminder of your company. Corporate gifts can be affordable and creative, but even a Christmas card can be a nice gesture to keep relationships strong and start new conversations ready for a new year of business.
Find ways of rewarding your employees
The holiday season is a great time of year for rewarding your employees for all of the hard work they’ve done over the past year. Take the time to thank them for their efforts, as well as recognize individual achievements. Now is a good time to award bonuses if your company is able to do so, helping your employees have a great Christmas. For businesses that can’t afford to hand out bonuses, there are other creative ways to reward your employees to help them feel valued and appreciated.
Your business wouldn’t be a success without your employees, so make sure you repay them for all of their efforts by recognizing and rewarding their achievements. With a lot to think about as the end of the year approaches, it pays to get a head start. Make the festive period the best yet for your business by planning the perfect countdown to the end of the year.