Bosses expect their team members to be equally productive and sincere every single day of the year
Besides impending deadlines, bosses have to deal with a largely festive staff who are in a celebratory mood
The thought of a looming holiday can speed up even the more slow workers: Long-pending tasks (that may spoil the holiday mood or can lead to the leave getting cancelled) are completed on time and burning midnight oil becomes a daily phenomenon unless all work is finished. Thanks to Holi and Easter, the same feeling can be sensed in almost all the offices these days. In offices, Holi celebrations have already begun. There is work, but people do not want to behave like busy bees and miss out on all the merriment. Of course, one sees such behaviour during other festive occasions like Diwali, Christmas or Eid. For team managers, festivals are challenging times. Here are some ways to tackle festive madness (without reprimanding your colleagues):
1. The always-in-festive-mood employees:
They go to every colleague’s desk to take updates on their festival and leave plans. Around festivals, they will be seen everywhere in office other than their desks.
How to tackle them: Bosses expect their team members to be equally productive and sincere every single day of the year. During festive season one cannot expect employees to bury their heads in files and not do anything else. At a time when joy is in the air it is obvious for people to get carried away. In an article on the website Glassdoor, Donna Fuscaldo writes, “Employers have to give their workers a little leeway and recognize the holidays in order for them to stay productive.” However, this is true that this cannot be done at the cost of work. The best way will be to fix accountability and let people know what is expected of them before the holidays begin. How they decide to go about their work should be their problem.
2. Those who want to take an extended vacation:
These are the employees who look for an excuse to send in leave applications during festivals.
How to tackle them: First of all, be prepared for lots of leave applications to flow in. Now, based on work requirements, decide on how many of those could be approved. Sending half the staff on vacation isn’t possible from the team manager’s perspective. However, this could be sorted out after having a one-on-one conversation with people who want leave. Set work deadlines for people whose leaves have been fixed. For the unlucky ones, options like flexi-work or work from home can be explored. In case all of this fails, you can approve their vacation for a later date.
3. Employees who want to celebrate in office:
They keep saying ‘C’mon, let’s celebrate’ throughout the year. Leave Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Eid aside, such employees want a party either when Team India wins a match, or a colleague comes back from a holiday, or a project gets completed on time!
How to tackle them: Well, this one is really tricky! Not approving a party request can lead to resentment among employees, approving it all the time will disturb work (and party budget in case people aren’t pooling-in). Plus, accept it, that get-togethers are a great way to engage employees. To deal with such colleagues, the boss has to be really tactful. One party is fine, but being in a celebratory mode every day might not be possible. In such case, try to refuse their request in a friendly way (sometimes, dilly-dallying works). They can be asked to tone it down into a snack party and to organize it after the day’s work is done.
4. Bunking office for festival shopping:
They will leave early in evening, or slip out for a few hours at the pretext of some urgent work. Even when in office, such employees might be seen logged on to shopping websites.
How to tackle them: Around festivals, such situations may arise because people do not have time for personal work during the week. Flexibility is the key here. Give your employees some space to feel the joy and get their work done. Just keep your priorities clear. Work deadlines, meeting schedules etc should be communicated to every employee so that they can plan their schedule around it. Instead of refusing permission, ask your employees to inform their immediate supervisor before heading out for personal work.