5 tips for bringing more humanity to the holidays

December 20, 2019 Lynne Levy

2-minute read

snowy street

For many, the holidays can be a stressful time of year, especially while balancing responsibilities at home and at work. As we close out 2019 and look forward to an engaged, productive, and happy 2020, be mindful of five steps you can take to create a sense of inspiration and positivity in December.

Celebrate as a diverse community: Many celebrate Christmas in the United States, but we need to remember that not everyone celebrates this holiday. Those who do not celebrate Christmas can feel left out, which can cause undue stress and anxiety at work. Organizations should use the holiday season to celebrate as a community, rather than focus on one or two holidays.

Take your vacation: Giving employees time to reflect, recharge, and relax is critical for productivity and wellbeing. And yet, many leaders will “go online for a few hours” during their vacation. This creates an expectation that employees must do the same. The moment your manager – who is on vacation – sends you an email, stress increases. How should you handle the email? Should you respond right away? Leaders, if you feel you must be online during your vacation, do not send emails to your teams.

Express authentic gratitude: “I appreciate you.” “I am so glad you are on my team.” “You make such a difference for the organization.” While gratitude should be a year-round event, the end of the year is an excellent time to express heartfelt appreciation for your colleagues and teams. Make sure it’s not a quick “thank you,” but specific, memorable, and authentic. Check out some tips for expressing gratitude here.

Set exciting goals: December is the perfect time to work with employees on 2020 goals. Really engage employees in the process and take into account how they want to grow and develop in 2020. Set goals that get employees excited, engaged, and ready to dive in during Q1. Break large goals into smaller micro-goals that divide a large task into manageable pieces. As employees achieve micro-goals, make sure to recognize their success and growth.

Give back: Donate your time to others. It can be in the form of a team-building event for a charity or a coat drive. Or it could even be simpler: Reach out to someone at work who is struggling and needs a mentor. 

Take a look at the recognition you have received, the goals you have met, and the celebrations you have been part of in 2019. Reflect on the things you love about your job, whether a friendly co-worker, a short commute, or engaging work. Focusing on the positive and celebrating the good will set up you and your team for a successful and productive new year.


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About the Author

Lynne Levy

Lynne Levy is a Workhuman evangelist who lives and breathes helping organizations build cultures that bring out the best in the employees. Her mantra is “do what you love, love what you do.”

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