Who said managing a global team was easy? Perhaps they didn’t take global holidays into consideration. Read on to learn how to make holidays a fun and motivating part of managing a global team.
One of the biggest challenges in working with a global team is managing the diverse cultures around the world. Each country has a different approach especially when observing local holidays. So how can you better manage your team when everyone’s on a different holiday calendar? In today’s globally conscious climate, leaders must be able to:
- Become familiar with each country’s observances and holidays
- Design and publish a Global Holiday Calendar
- Make sure to celebrate important holidays of each culture
It is no doubt difficult to keep track of all the holidays that exist around the world. Some companies like Buffer and HR.com offer unlimited paid time off to their employees. Not only that, they assign local holidays as time off by default.
My Genie team and I have prepared a list of the 2021 public holidays from the US, India, Argentina, Lebanon, Mexico and the Philippines (all places where we have offices!):
** Celebrated 5 days later for Shi’a
With this list of major holidays from different cultures in mind, here are some suggestions on how to help your employees make the most of their holiday schedules.
Encourage and Even Require People to Take Time Off
Taking care of your employees and encouraging time off when they deserve it (and get as part of their local labor laws and customs) will help your team be more productive when they’re hard at work the rest of the year. A study by Data from Mind revealed that 95% of employees are not comfortable sharing the real reason they need a time off. Usually, this is due to workplace stress. So just be up front and let your team know they not only won’t get behind by shutting down for holidays and PTO, they’ll come back refreshed and often with a renewed perspective on their projects and tasks.
Offer Flexible Hours and the Choice of Remote Work Around Holidays
Allow your employees some freedom about when and where they want to do their work. Create a work culture that helps employees focus on getting the job done, not the job done on your terms. Assure your employees that their work is defined by quality and timeliness, not where or how they choose to do their work. It’s no wonder the future of work is being redesigned according to Deloitte and others. More businesses are giving employees more flexibility to create their own schedules, processes, teams, and even goals.
Celebrate Local Holidays and Employee Successes
Employees love getting into the spirit of a local holiday or taking an extra full or half-day off to make a 3-day weekend a 4-day weekend when a Friday or Monday falls on a holiday. Let your employees know how much your company cares for their work-life balance by not assigning critical projects to be due the day before or after a major holiday. You can also leave it up to them if they want to take off an extra day to bookend a holiday with an extra day off. Remember, you hired them for their skills, not to dictate their daily calendar.
Also, don’t forget to let employees know when they are doing a great job! Just like a healthy amount of time off, recognition in the workplace increases office morale and can contribute to higher retention rates. Just be mindful as some employees might be more reserved than others. The goal is to make sure to let your employees know that their efforts are always appreciated, not to spotlight everyone with a surprise gift or announcement in public.
Encourage Time Off to Improve Workplace Wellness
Implementing a culture where time off and holidays are respected and celebrated is only one of the ways that your employees can feel appreciated at work. Encouraging your team members to participate in your (or any) wellness program can increase their level of satisfaction too.
Helping your employees bring their whole selves to work through mental, physical, and emotional self-care will help them be more productive in the work they do every day. When managers gain some sense of awareness of their employees’ mental health needs and cultural considerations including local holidays, interactions become less forced and more authentic. And these stronger workplace bonds can help people manage stressful times better too. Employees will feel appreciated and respected which will result in better productivity and performance.
And all managers out there, listen up: Remember to take some time off yourself. When your employees are engaged in their work, they won’t need to be micromanaged. So, go ahead. Book that vacation. Take off your holidays and use your time-off. Managers need to take care of their health too.