holidays

Your business can use these 5 tips to enhance its company culture during the holidays to engage and honor the hard work of your employees.

How Improving Employee Happiness Creates a Positive Work Environment All Year Round

A generation of business owners, leaders, and managers have been counseled on the benefits of creating a constructive company culture. In fact, a large body of research exists to showcase how such a workplace actively contributes to making your people more productive simply because they’re happy. Employees who want to be at work because they feel good about their work do better work — even if they have fewer skills on paper than a more talented, but disgruntled, coworker.

And there’s no more effective way to let your company culture shine than the holidays.

At Patten Title Company, we look for every possible opportunity to connect with our people in tangible ways that make a difference in their lives. It’s the reason we host monthly team-building events, quarterly networking parties, and recurring one-on-one mentoring sessions. But all of that takes a backseat to what we do for and with our people during the holiday season.

5 Holiday Events that Enhance Your Workplace Culture

The holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year. But between all of the travel, family events, and budget-busting gift giving, they can also be very stressful. Thus, Patten Title treats the holidays as an annual opportunity to show our team how much we really do appreciate them.

We’ve assembled 5 of our company’s favorite holiday activities and provided ways you can customize these ideas to match the profile and personalities in your office.

1. Holiday Party

Yes, this one is obvious, but it shouldn’t have to be boring or staid. Gathering everyone together for a night of food and festivities is a classic for a reason, but that format might not fit the energy of your team.

For example, Patten is sending our entire staff (plus significant others!) on a holiday getaway weekend in Lake Charles, LA. While we will enjoy a fine meal together to celebrate the events of 2019, we’re also giving everyone time to just relax and “turn off” for a little bit while enjoying some high-energy grownup activities.

If you have a healthy workplace culture, you should have a strong idea of the sort of holiday party that will appeal most to your employees. Whether that’s a small potluck lunch and white elephant gift exchange or a lavish affair, what matters is that your people are happy and feel appreciated.

2. Volunteering Activity

The holidays are often a time of year where we pay increased attention to those in need in our communities. Your employees might appreciate taking part in a company-wide charity event, as such activities are good for teambuilding and morale.

Common options include the following:

● Working in a food bank for an afternoon
● Serving food at a shelter
● Collecting canned goods and clothing to donate

As a title company that helps people purchase the home of their dreams, Patten takes regular time to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. We believe everyone should have a home, especially around the holidays.

Whatever you might choose, make sure the charity work you do represents the culture and identity of your company.

3. Workplace Decorations

No one likes a Scrooge — not even Ebenezer himself. Warm up your office by encouraging your people to decorate for the season. You can even inject a little bit of competition into the festivities by pitting different teams against each other to see who can spruce up your offices with the best seasonal flair.

However, it’s important that any decorating you do around the office is considerate of the diversity of beliefs among your employees and your clients. Not everyone celebrates the holidays in the same way, so it’s essential your decorations are ecumenical, respectful, and thoughtful.

4. Vacation Time

The holidays are packed with parties, travel, gift-giving, and frivolity of all sorts. And that doesn’t even account for the kids being home from school on break! You’ll provide your people a serious sense of relief by being as lenient as possible with the number of days off they can take.

We’re the first to admit that this recommendation isn’t possible for everyone, especially if you work in food service, retail, or another time-sensitive customer-facing industry. But we do advocate for businesses to provide over-and-above vacation time to its people around the holidays. If your company culture really does place a high value upon employee happiness and well-being, then this one is a no-brainer.

5. Year-End Gifts

A quick caveat: we know that that not every company can give a gift every single year (even if it’s not money), as they simply aren’t always within every company’s budgets. But we also feel that your employees will appreciate anything you can give them, especially if they can tell it’s something personal and from the heart.

Do people like money? Absolutely. But do your employees also like being recognized as people, as something more than the work they do for the company? Most definitely. A thoughtful gift will go a long way towards showing your people that they matter to you.

Make the Holiday Season Merry and Bright for Your Company

You don’t have to spend lots of money to showcase your appreciation for your team during the holidays. If you have a strong and healthy company culture, you’ll know exactly the best way to celebrate the season in a way that honors your employees and brings them together as a workforce. In fact, there’s a good chance that they’ll openly share ideas with you and your leadership team about things they’d like to do to celebrate the holidays with their coworkers. We should all be so lucky to have developed a team that feels such a sense of personal ownership over their workplace experience.

Ultimately, however your company commemorates the holidays, make it about your people and how much they mean to you.

Eric Fontanot is President of Patten Title where he orchestrates small business operations and manages the needs of the individuals who make Patten Title run smoothly. Patten Title Company is a full service closing company with locations in Houston, Austin and Dallas. For more information regarding Patten Title Company, please visit www.pattentitle.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Holidays stock photo by 4 PM production/Shutterstock