5 things HR leaders hate about the holidays

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Holidays in the office are a time for employees to come together, feel appreciated, and celebrate the season. But it takes a lot to make the office feel merry and bright. In fact, it takes an extraordinary team of HR leaders executing the perfect way to celebrate, and they do it all with a smile. We asked a group of HR professionals what they dislike about holidays in the office for a glimpse into the happiest time of year.

1. Making it a perk.

“We really do try and create all celebrations with our employees in mind. But trying to plan something that everyone will feel is a perk to them is exhausting. If our team tries something during lunch to respect their personal time, they think it’s a lame attempt. If we give gift cards and treats, they think we won’t let them take any time out of work. It’s a juggle trying to make whatever we do truly feel like a perk to everyone.”

2. Budgets. Budgets. 

“Budgets change every year and it’s a real bummer for getting creative with events and gifts. How am I supposed to live up to the iPads we gave everyone two years ago when the company was doing really well? Now we have small gift cards and a brunch buffet and people are asking questions.”

3. The booze.

“I’ve learned over the years to just dump it. People get emotional and things come out that you maybe never wanted to know about, I don’t know, [Jim] in finance. Unless you plan a drink ticket system, professional bartenders, or monitor their consumption, dump it. Trust me!

4. Balancing celebrations.

 “[Balancing religious celebrations] is always sensitive topic, everyone knows that. You mustn’t ignore it and there will always be someone that brings something up about the way in which the office celebrates, year after year. What [my company] has learned to do is create a learning experience for our teams. People can bring in what they believe and wish to celebrate and we create this, sort of, month long celebration of different cultures and beliefs. Of course there is always that one Grinch who doesn’t enjoy it. Bah-hum-bug to them!”

5. Lack of appreciation (for us!)

“We spend a lot of extra time, effort, and stress trying to get the holidays right. Everyone has a good time, laughs together with their teams, and then takes a week off to celebrate. But everyone forgets to thank the team that made this all possible! I try to make sure I say ‘thank you’ to my team and anyone else who helped plan all the festivities and make it a success, year after year.”

*Bonus – but what do you like the MOST about the holiday season?

“Everyone is generally happier and care free. We get fewer complaints and personnel problems in HR during this time of year. And treats. There are usually treats everywhere.”

Sure, we all have our qualms with the holiday season. And though these leaders all had their grievances, they all had to agree that in the end, as long as you make the effort to appreciate your employees, the season will be a memorable one.

Happy Holidays!

By ana bentz
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