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3 “Nice to Have” Steps to Employee Care in the Last Weeks of the Year

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Sometimes we don’t have time for certain things but it doesn’t mean that they’re not important. Therefore, there are three tips how to make employee care better. In total, it shouldn’t take you more than one working day for each task. You’ll see that the impact will exceed all expectations.

Saying goodbye for the holidays

Internal communication- i.e. the ability of management to separate process communication from more personal communication reflecting company culture- is generally a sore spot for most Czech companies. There are a number of reasons for this, however, two of them stand out above the rest. Firstly, Czech companies are often managed strictly by divisions or departments and internal communication can’t respect this boundary. But the people who should fulfil it primarily- i.e. experienced PR managers-usually belong to sales or marketing. Communication or even PR is rarely represented in top management.

Secondly, there is the lack of strong personalities who would like to represent the company internally and become bearers of its culture. We’ve already mentioned several times that managers must become leaders. Unfortunately, it’s also relevant this year.

However, despite all the conversations with superiors, it’s necessary to admit that the end of the year without any pleasant moments from the highest positions in the company is at least an unhappy solution from the point of view of company culture. Unfortunately, the HR department often doesn’t have the authority, for example, to be able to enforce or implement internal communication to the necessary extent. But it’s definitely true that where there’s a will there’s a way.

What should an ideal end-of-year message look like?

First of all, forget the idea of “operational” letter about work and working or process details. Keep strictly positive tone. Think about the mood of people reading the letter, so it’s probably not entirely appropriate to raise their frequency of heartbeat. Focus primarily on strengthening of solidarity, support and remind the company culture and don’t be afraid to be as open as possible. Moreover, allow managing directors to present themselves as humanely as possible.

Personally, I think that the letter of thanks from management shouldn’t be another obligatory e-mail. Definitely, you won’t make a mistake if you try to do it in a different way. If you follow the rules and it really is a positive reading, feel free to hand it over as a personal letter in an envelope that people can open at home before the actual start of the holidays.

If you prefer more casual way, you can do it by using a video which can be quite informal. Just don’t forget that the addressee should be the main star and not the managers.

List of benefits

Statistically, you’ll probably be one of those companies that are unable to compensate for the effects of inflation by increasing salaries and offer your employees Christmas bonus according to their expectations. In this case, the benefits play a crucial role. The end of the year, in spite of the changing conditions of taxation, is the right moment to present a wide range of them.

Prepare an overview of applying them, conditions for the following year and if you, for example, let the individual teams vote for some part of the benefits, the holidays are the ideal time for voting.

If you want to meet your people and have a wider range of benefits, try to personalize them as much as possible. Researches have shown that inclusively focused benefits are used significantly less by the target groups than universal ones. It happens despite the fact that they find them more useful- they just don’t know about them. And even you may not realize that they might be fine for the employees. Specifically, these include for example benefits suitable for employees of pre-retirement age, parents or people caring for aging parents. What benefits are we talking about?

  • Interest-free company loans
  • Use of the company fleet for private purposes
  • Rental of the company premises for non-company events
  • Buy of discounted meals in the canteen also for family members
  • Advantageous travel insurance for the whole family
  • Widen discount on company products
  • Support days for families with children or the elderly
  • Financial literacy course
  • Online safety course also for children, parents or grandparents of employees

January “welcome back” package

While messages before Christmas are quite widespread, only few companies think about the return of their employees after winter holidays. Christmas is one of the critical times of the year in the relationship between employees and employers. Problems discussed in the wider family circle may seem significantly worse and intractable at the time of Christmas atmosphere. When the company isn’t able to present the light at the end of the tunnel after a difficult year, the employees may be back at work demotivated. Of course, it will be reflected in their performance in January.

A welcome package could be the right solution. It’ll be up to you whether it’ll be in a physical form or a package loaded with information. A combination of both would be the best idea. It could contain- especially things that you already have anyway and just wrap them in new paper. And you’ll add some extra details:

Welcome letter from management

A short personal message expressing gratitude for work to employees over the past year and presenting expectations and goals for the coming year. It should be simple, constructive and even in working mode.

Overview of last year’s achievements and milestones

A summary of what company achieved last year and what is planned for the next year. Mention of the key points of the strategy. It’s the opportunity to raise hope that the company will deal with unfavourable economy with honour.

Calendar with important dates

Provide employees with an overview of important dates and events that will take place in the coming year.

Company philosophy and culture

Especially in the era of hybrid teams, it’s important to give a specific applied form to the points of company philosophy. Remind those which are relevant at the beginning of the year- for example, personal development opportunities, approach to duties, problem solving, work-life balance and also the issues related to mutual communication.

Overview of courses

Thanks to the influence of New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of the year is the ideal moment to improve the qualification of your employees and let them choose the development courses. To avoid phantom registrations, don’t be afraid to deduct a reservation from the salary in case of valuable courses and return money back with a nice bonus after completing the course.

New Year’s feedback

First weeks after returning to work, a clear head and bird’s eye view will help you to get probably the most authentic feedback on the company for the last year. Therefore, be ready with the plan and take advantage of it.

I usually recommend using two types of feedback- the first one, immediately after returning to work which should be focused on soft elements such as work environment, company culture or mutual communication; the other after one month when it’s possible to deal with qualification, company goals and overall feeling of it.

Internal communication needs the only thing- your initiative

By the end of the year, people managers don’t have energy to spare. Nevertheless, I suggest to look at your options at the end of the year through new eyes. There are a lot of things you can do and they’ll become a useful part of the routine. The reason why you don’t do them is usually the only one- lack of time.

We can save up to 20 hours weekly. Consider including Sloneek in your resolutions and get the most out of HR by using advanced digital assistance which will allow you to do the most important things- take care about your people.