The holiday season can be really fun, but sometimes stressful and confusing for many teams. This playbook can guide global teams (remote or hybrid) on how best to schedule vacation time; how to ensure the load is being shared and also how to still have a ton of fun during the last month of the year! Paid Time Off, forms a huge part of this topic, but there are more to consider during December yearly, including: internal and external communication, events, planning, customer support/ availability as well as overall team wellbeing.
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🔵 Team Owner: People Team
Reduce holiday stress with these tips
- 🌍 Different cultures celebrate different holidays during December, regardless of religion. Don’t make any assumptions based on someone’s religion (or location), whether they would take time off or not.
- 📝 Planning is crucial so have conversations early and continuously about intentions within the team to take PTO or adjust schedules for holiday celebrations or time away, being clear on what needs to happen, who can help and what success looks like.
- 🔈Transparent and early communication will make the entire month less stressful for all.
- ✨ If we all share the load and all have a chance to rest, the load will be much lighter.
- 🧘 Flexible work is an amazing benefit that goes both ways — it means being flexible with schedules for time off and when there is a tough challenge to solve in terms of availability.
- 📅 Overemphasize the importance of a no-ask do-tell policy and ensure it is not used against our peers and managers — in December, we recommend we tell early, go above and beyond in terms of team planning and all lean into flexibility and kindness towards the teams and times we are in.
- 🆘 Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially because the smaller the team, the harder this is, so talk to your leaders or stakeholders to simplify and find creative solutions.
- 🥳 Have fun and share a light-hearted spirit by arranging some social time with your peers/ team: arrange a fun dress-up; trivia; VR game; live cooking-together-time; invite family/ friends/ pets or show to all your calls in your favourite ugly holiday sweater (and maybe have a contest about who’s is the ugliest).
- 🏆 Celebrate the team’s accomplishments and learning this year and take a moment to reflect together!
What can I do as a People Leader?
- Ask about holiday plans as early as the end of Q3 — it might feel too early, but having a clear plan will help everyone.
- Create a template and share it with the entire team to ensure there is clear visibility of who will be off and when. This helps ensure the team has the right capacity during December (whether customer facing or not).
- For teams that manage day-to-day Operations, an option, where feasible, is to rotate the yearly holiday schedule among team members so everyone can be given the opportunity to take longer breaks.