Posts Tagged holidays
What do the holidays mean for your employees and organization? Well, for some it means taking time off, family and friends coming in and out of town, donating to charities, end of year deadlines and the list continues! What can your organization do to support your employees during this time of the year? Get them into “the holiday spirit!”
Here are some quotes that may embrace your impression of the holiday spirit:
The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas. — W. C. Jones
This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays” — D.M. Dellinger
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness. — Helen Keller
I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. — Harlan Miller
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice or nothing at all, you may be familiar with some of the themes in these quotes. These themes found and promoted as the “holiday spirit” can be found year round in your organization!
Since I am especially thankful and proud of my organization’s approach to the holidays, I’d like to take a few moments and describe why being in HR at MINES has jumpstarted my holiday spirit! This year, we have had incredible interest and proactive initiatives in making the MINES culture something to be proud of. Employees from all over the organization, in numerous departments and of varying tenure have informally stepped up and offered ideas and proactive approaches to making MINES a fun and enjoyable place to work. This holiday season has been no exception!
What began as a simple holiday party planning committee grew into a committee that wanted to ensure a memorable experience for not only our employees but also our clients. We first brainstormed a completely different approach to our holiday party… how did this happen? We had a newer employee who was not boggled down by assumptions of the “way things have been done” do some homework and elect a different flavor for the party. The committee also wanted to ensure that the other members of the staff had input in components of the party and they did partake! Above and beyond the holiday party, other great ideas became reality including two drives incentivized by a spirit week and raffle as well as a card signing potluck lunch. The reason that this brightened my holiday spirit is not necessarily the activities themselves; it was seeing the enthusiasm and these great initiatives by our brilliant staff becoming a reality. What was most impressive was the decision by our committee to make it a goal to continue this proactive morale-boosting initiative throughout the year. Of course, we could not have implemented reality without our executive team being on-board!
This year, be proactive about making your holiday season special for yourself, your colleagues, your organization, your community, and for everyone that you touch. Let THIS holiday season be a springboard for the rest of the year! Be the one who helps to spark your organization’s “holiday spirit” and keep it burning all year long! Giving, caring, spending time with family and friends, easing others’ loads, generosity, appreciation, and sharing your contagious smile and energy can make a difference in the morale of your organization all year! This difference and spirit spreads and benefits everyone who you touch whether it is clients, family, colleagues, customers, or friends! I believe that this is why MINES makes such a tremendous difference in our clients’ lives.
Dani Kimlinger, MHA, PHR, Human Resources
I love the notion of having a “reasonably” happy holiday season. It’s so freeing and realistic. It creates a mindset that actually allows people to enjoy the holidays. Seriously, who could argue against having a reasonably good time as a starting point? Anything above that can go into the “exceeded my expectations” category.
There is a lot of information on suggestions and ways to lessen the stress of the holidays. However, if you don’t take the time to examine your holiday expectations, it’s possible that there will be some frustrations, stressors, and disappointments that cast a wicked spell on your sense of holiday magic.
BizPysch facilitates a training called “Thriving with the Holidays” and it’s one of my all time favorite workshops. Why? Because it focuses on strategies for having a reasonably happy holiday season. It gives people a chance to “pause” before all the holiday craziness sets in and decide what they want their holiday season to be about. Participants get to think about creating new holiday traditions in place of old traditions they would like to let go of. We debunk some of the holiday myths that are a set up for having an unhappy holiday season, and offer some great ideas for simple ways to take in the magic of the holidays. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Ask for help…and take it!
- Give yourself a present
- Contact an old friend and enjoy the gift of connection
- Let go of a problem that you can’t solve
- Hang a favorite holiday ornament in your car
- Compliment at least 3 people every day in December
- Give the gift of forgiveness and acceptance
- Record a cheerful greeting for your answering machine
- Give someone that “great” parking space and enjoy walking a little farther in the cool air
- Wear a pair of outrageous holiday socks
- Learn to say “Happy Holidays” in several languages
- Give someone who is discouraged the gift of encouragement
So, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or another holiday during December, best wishes for a reasonably happy holiday season!
It’s that time of the year again; time to plan the company holiday party! What are your company’s plans? Company holiday parties are important because they allow for team building, employee appreciation, and interaction in a social atmosphere. But with publicity about lawsuits and keeping budget constraints in mind, planning the company holiday party can be a stressful endeavor. Don’t worry, balancing employee expectations and morale with the realities of finances and liabilities can happen!
The holiday party here at MINES was held last week. To start, the party planning was opened up to everyone throughout the company and ended up consisting of four party planners. We made the decision to hold the party on site in a conference room to save on funds and utilize open space. In order to dress up the conference room a bit, the party planning committee met off site one afternoon and purchased inexpensive decorations from stores such as Safeway and King Soopers. Employees from all over the company made suggestions for activities and food, and we ended up with the famous White Elephant gift exchange and ordering Chinese food from Yen King with a potluck dessert table. The party was a success, complete with a thankful speech from our CEO, visits from previous employees, holiday songs thanks to a musically-inclined employee, and hilarious gifts passed around including a “grow your own therapist” and a funky metal pig that was a hot item and stolen many times.
Here are some tips to make your holiday party inexpensive, fun, and non-alcoholic:
- Invite everyone to join in your party planning and encourage ideas for food and activities from everyone – you will be amazed at the creativity!
- Consider supporting local charities by holding a toy or coat drive or perhaps even voluntary monetary donations. MINES’ employees always enjoy participating and it’s a great way to give back during the holiday season.
- Spread out the seating area and include activities that encourage everyone to move around and mingle with coworkers they don’t know very well.
- Hold the party during the workday. Not only will this save money, but will lower the expectations for alcohol. Plus, employees appreciate the long break!
- Encourage the President/Owner/CEO to give a thankful speech. Likely they will plan on it, but ask anyway. Hearing thanks for a busy year really means a lot to everyone!
- Don’t hang mistletoe! Yes, when I read and heard this before, I thought it was silly…but consider what mistletoe might bring and which policies could be violated.
- Be sure to insist that the holiday party is voluntary.
If you are considering serving alcohol at your company party, click on the following link for helpful information from the U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/drugs/workingpartners/sp_iss/send.asp
Dani Kimlinger, MHA
Human Resources Specialist
Keeping an Attitude of Gratitude During the Holidays
It’s holiday time. This means family, friends, food, and fun. It also means unpredictability and a break in our routines which can lead to stress. It is easy to get so caught up in the details of the holidays. Will my sister like the gift I got her? Will the company get along? Is the ham overdone? It is also a time when ongoing stressors in our lives can feel magnified. We might worry if we can afford to give our children the gifts we want, family conflict can feel unavoidable, or it may feel like everyone else is celebrating while we feel more and more isolated or alone. Whatever the reasons might be, the holidays are not always the perfect celebration we sometimes expect. So how can we cope?
Last year my mother-in-law introduced a concept to our family that shone a new light on the season: The Gratitude Jar. Every family member was given a piece of paper to write down one thing they were grateful for in the previous year. We all had to share out loud what we were grateful for before putting it in the jar. Throughout the holiday, the jar was a reminder of all of the things we had to appreciate.
Practicing gratitude can be a simple and easy way to shift your thinking and reduce stress during the holiday season. Research has consistently shown that practicing gratitude can have many stress reducing effects (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111601699.html).
Although the Gratitude Jar can be a great activity to share with family and friends, there are many ways you can practice gratitude to make the holidays more enjoyable:
- Make a short list of 3 things you are happy about in your life. Keep the list in your pocket and read it over whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Write a letter to someone who is important in your life expressing your appreciation
- Volunteer. Spending time with others in need can remind you to appreciate the aspects of our lives we take for granted.
I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday and best wishes for the new year!
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
~The HealthPsych Team