The holidays are in full swing! There’s something about this season that’s absolutely magical. No matter what’s going on in the world, good, bad, or ugly, we can all stop and appreciate the brightness and joy of the holidays. There’s something about the season that brings out the very best in people. We grow more generous, more patient, and more kind-hearted. There’s something in us that just can’t help but be the very best versions of ourselves.
I can’t help but think that it’s a shame that we only act like this a month out of the year! How much better would the world be if we were more like our holiday spirit selves year-round?
These are just some of the ways I think holiday cheer can help transform a business—not just once a year, but each and every day.
4 Ways Holiday Cheer Makes Better Businesses
1) It creates a better sense of community.
This time of year creates a sense of community like no other. We feel close, at home, and connected to our fellow man, whether it’s friends, family, or strangers. For businesses, the lesson we can learn is that of community, too. We spend so much time doing office team-building exercises, going on retreats, and trying to foster a sense of work togetherness, but it rarely feels genuine.
If we hope to bring the charm and sense of community of the holidays into our workplaces, we need to be genuine in our efforts. Often, these community team-building exercises are nothing more than attempts to boost our bottom lines. If we want real communities in our workplaces, they have to be that.
That means actually thinking about culture fit in our hiring practices, listening carefully to comments made to HR, and taking time to have fun as teams and employees across departments and job descriptions just for its own sake...and not just for the company Christmas party.
2) It puts giving at the forefront.
The holidays are a time for giving, but as businesses owners and entrepreneurs, charity and donations don’t have to be reserved for the end-of-the-year. Giving back should be an active and regular part of our business practices. Does it always make financial sense? Not logically, no.
There is, however, great value in giving that goes beyond helping causes that you want to stand behind and support. As businesses, it can help you become pillars and fixtures in your community if you are known for getting out there are helping the little guy. Maybe it’s not just writing a check. Maybe you get the office together and form a volunteering program. Maybe you do food or clothing drives to help local shelters. There are plenty of ways to give!
3) We’re more aware of the people around us.
Compassion and empathy come more naturally to all of us during this time of the year, but it certainly shouldn’t stop there. We know that statistics show that people are usually more lonely and depressed during the holidays—but that doesn’t mean that those around us aren’t struggling other times, too. We tend to look for opportunities during this season to be kind, to go out of our way to help—but shouldn't we try to do that anyway? If we’re more aware of the people in our lives who might need help, more attune to the signs, and more willing to ask, life would be better for all of us.
For businesses, what does that mean? Interpersonal relationships play a huge role in any business. It means paying extra attention to helping a frazzled employee manage their stress. It means going the extra mile where customer service is concerned. It means going out of your way to ensure that relationships and services of all kinds, at all levels, are given top attention.
4) It encourages optimism.
I’m a big proponent of looking at the bright side of things. During the holidays, it’s a lot easier than the other times of the year. We tend to look at the best in people, the best in any given situation. We look at the future with hope and optimism. The same can’t be said for other times, especially when things might not be looking so bright.
I think business owners and leaders would do well to take a dose of holiday cheer year ‘round. Optimism keeps us going under difficult circumstances. It makes the impossible possible. It sustains our drive in face of challenges. When we have hope, when we have optimism, we’re looking for the best in people, ourselves, and our futures. It’s not just hoping for or looking for the best, either...it’s dedicating ourselves to creating it.
And as businesses, whatever we’re providing, making, or doing, we should always be creating the best and brightest future we can imagine.