How to Avoid Becoming the Office Christmas Grinch

Office Christmas Grinch

Christmas time in the workplace is officially here but sometimes, not everyone wants to get involved. Here’s how to avoid becoming the office Christmas Grinch.

Depending on how your workplace likes to celebrate the Christmas season, it’s probable by now that the decorations have been hung up and the Christmas meal plans have been made. But often, you might find that some members of your team or even your manager don’t wish to take part in the festivities. Instead of shunning them whilst the celebrations are at their all time high, consider a few of these tips on how to avoid becoming an office Christmas Grinch.

How to Avoid Becoming the Office Christmas Grinch

Be Sensitive to a Colleague’s Feelings

There could be a few reasons as to why a colleague doesn’t wish to celebrate Christmas in the workplace. It’s important to remain sensitive to their feelings because of this. Whether it is due to religious or personal reasons, you should be sure to always respect their decision when it comes to organizing Christmas themed events, meals out or even when deliberating on the decorations to put up within the office. You should be all means ask them to participate in anything happening between your team or in the company, but don’t become an office Christmas Grinch by holding a grudge if they choose to decline on the offer.

Don’t Force Them to Attend the Office Christmas Party

One of the worst ways to deal with colleagues that don’t wish to get involved with Christmas is to force them to attend the annual Office Christmas Party. It could come down to a number of reasons as to why they initially decide not to attend. By making their attendance compulsory, you could be worsening your work relationship with that employee. Even worse, you could be contributing to any anxiety or stress related issues they may have. For many, these types of issues are only exasperated by being forced to communicate with others in public settings or being surrounded by large amounts of people.

Do Allow Workers to Book Holidays Towards the End of the Year

If possible and if it falls in line with company policy, you should allow your workers the opportunity to take holiday days during the last few months of the year if they wish to. Events such as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day can be popular times of the year for workers to take a holiday day in order to travel or to spend it with friends and family. At the same time, it’s important to monitor if one particular employee or a group of employees always book specific days away from the business on a regular basis. If possible, negotiate with your workers so that everyone has an equal opportunity to book holiday days during Christmas time as to not make anyone feel you are giving preferential treatment to others.

Don’t Enforce Collections/Gifts for Management

Whilst not usually a scenario that tends to crop up in the workplace at Christmas time, you should never make workers feel forced to contribute to monetary collections/gifts for management. Some workers may do this out of their own goodwill but it should never be expected or regulated at the end of the year. This only risks to anger workers and even embarrass others if they are in the situation that they are unable to contribute. Most of all, it will most likely lead to others feeling alienated towards you once everyone returns to the office in January.

Use the Opportunity to Socialise with Your Colleagues

Events such as the Christmas Office Party and Christmas Fuddles are great opportunities in order to get to know the people you work with daily a bit better. Whilst it’s still a business event, the office Christmas Party gives you a chance to understand what people enjoy about the workplace, about their role and how they feel about the organization in general. Avoid getting into arguments or heated debates with workers who feel they may have an axe to grind – instead focus on those who are generally interested in discussing interests, hobbies and other subjects outside of workplace talk.

The slightly more relaxed atmosphere may mean colleagues are able to open up to you more regarding suggestions for improvement, implementing new processes etc. If their ideas are appropriate and they provide permission for it to be shared, they could prove useful when it next comes to the next board meeting or discussion between management at work.

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Sam Rose

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