Greensboro, NC (PressExposure) December 10, 2008 -- Capital Associated Industries, the largest employers' association in the state, is advising its clients to celebrate the holidays, even in tough financial times. As the financial crisis continues and concerns about a deep recession grow, companies everywhere are tightening their budgets.
"A lot of companies are unsure about what's going to happen in 2009, so many are scaling back the big holiday gala to something more modest," says Lynn Unsworth, regional manager for CAI, who has worked in the human resources field for over twenty-five years. "But pulling the plug on everything is the quickest way to destroy employee morale and stir them into hysteria about whether they'll see the next paycheck"
According to a recent Reuter's news article, 81 percent of U.S. companies are having an end-of-year holiday party, however, that is a lower percentage than during the holiday season following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Unsworth cautions employers not to send mixed messages to their employees about the current financial state of the company. Instead, Unsworth suggests companies be honest with employees about how the business is doing, whether it's good or bad. Creating a situation of distrust makes employees worry about their future job outlook and suspicious of what's next on the horizon.
If your company needs to scale back the holiday party this year, Unsworth says there are ways to be creative on a budget. She suggests letting employees dress down for the holidays and holding the company party in the conference room or lobby. She also recommends companies sponsor an employee holiday decorating contest where the winning team gets an extra day off or promote an opportunity to have a team-building experience to help out in the community.
"Even in tough times, this is a chance for managers and employees to celebrate the season and the team that is in place," says Unsworth. "Small things can help morale and carry the company into better times."