4 Ways to support your SMB team this holiday season

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Holiday seasons likely create challenges for small businesses, and this year, in particular, has been especially difficult for small business owners and their team members. Not only have companies’ overall financial stability been impacted, but the emotional well-being of society has taken a beating. Truthfully, even without the threat of a pandemic or other global health issues, the holidays can be challenging for SMB team members. With gift expectations, finding quality time to spend with family, and travel safety, there are many components to consider during these times.

While employers may be worried about the state of their business, they also have the added stress of keeping their staff members safe, protected, and able to make a living. While empathy for everyone’s situation can go a long way in maintaining team morale, there are some other ways business owners can support their teams this holiday season. Demonstrating appreciation for your team can come in many forms and should reflect your company’s values.

It’s important to stay in touch with team members during this time, and provide ways for quick and effective communication. The utilization of Microsoft Teams helps to facilitate effective teamwork and boost collaboration. This platform’s structure provides a comprehensive, collaborative solution that aids in productivity and overall company efficiency. There are ten best practices for Microsoft Teams to help improve your small to medium-sized business.

Why It’s Important to Show Your Team Support

It has been a difficult year for everyone, but your small business team has risen to the challenge, and they deserve some recognition. Regardless of what is going on at home, your employees have been the ones to keep the fires burning, customers satisfied, suppliers coordinated, and more even despite the challenges they’ve had to face. There have been more added stresses than anyone could have expected, so consider making it a fantastic holiday season by rewarding your team for their service.

If money is not possible, think of other ways to thank each employee for their steadfast dedication and make it meaningful. You can help bolster your team’s outlook for the coming year by asking for their input and showing them a continual appreciation for their constant efforts. Show them that they are an integral part of your overall success and that you trust and respect each one of them. Let your staff know that there are many reasons to be optimistic and that you support each of them, not only to help your small business grow in 2021 but to strengthen your bond with your team overall. Here are four ways you can show your team appreciation this holiday season:

1. Write Personal Emails

It’s essential to give thanks to your employees regularly, and expressing your appreciation through writing elevates it to a whole other level. The holidays are the perfect time to write personal emails, thanking them for their hard work. For emails, a simple way to accomplish this task is to create a customizable template that provides structure and will ultimately save you time. Be sure that the email reflects that you put thought and effort into it and that it is reasonably consistent with the employee’s frame of mind. For example, you can create a template that includes:

  • One way they surprised and delighted you
  • A successful project
  • How they contribute value to the company
  • Something personal that you appreciate about them (sense of humor, taste in music, etc.)

2. Give Them Some Flexibility

The holidays can be a difficult time of the year to focus on work, even in the best circumstances. During the holiday season, the average person deals with many emotions, from excitement to stress to anxiety to sadness. Although fewer people are likely to travel or attend significant events this year, the pressure of coping with a difficult holiday season could very well impact productivity. Flexibility is one of the best gifts you can give your team this year. Give them the space to start work a bit late or leave a bit earlier here and there. Let your team know in advance that this is your intent and create a plan to ensure that critical work is covered and cared for.

3. Provide Thoughtful Gifts

Nothing says “I value and appreciate you” more than a little something special. If you have a small team, dedicate a few hours to finding personal gifts for each member. For example, if someone’s headset is on the fritz, you might go out of your way to get them a new one. Or, if a team member loves to hike, you might get them a durable water bottle. You can get a sense of what might suit each individual by speaking to other team members or looking through their social media.

4. Encourage Your Team to Take Vacation Time and Earned PTO

Employees are stressed about a lot of things this holiday season and sometimes won’t think to take their earned time off for a variety of reasons. They may fear returning to a reduced workforce, face reduced hours, or worry that they are not supporting the rest of the team. But we all need to take well-deserved time away from work to have a positive and proactive work-life balance. If employees feel supported by their employer to take time off, they will feel more relaxed and less stressed overall.

Say Thanks This Holiday Season

Here at Parried, what started as a one-man shop has now grown to an experienced team of IT professionals. Although our team may not be massive, we all bring uniqueness and individuality to this company. We support each other, care for one another, and provide inspiration every day. This topic is significant to us because we believe that expressing gratitude is one of the most simple yet powerful things you can do for one another. Your willingness to put your appreciation into words can make someone’s day, even change someone’s life.

Our team cares about making the lives of everyone we come in contact with more effortless and trouble-free. It’s important that our clients feel valued and supported, and we feel lucky to be a part of such a fantastic community of unique and kind individuals. That is why we’re always happy to help both new and existing clients, so if you have any questions or concerns about your IT security, reach out to us today for a complimentary IT analysis.