As a real estate company owner, the holidays give you the opportunity to recognize your team while celebrating the season. Though you might feel uncertain about the type of gesture you should make, if any, and how to please a very diverse group of personalities. Fortunately, we have suggestions for you, courtesy of Entrepreneur magazine, along with ideas of our own!
1. Any gesture is better than none. While there’s always a person or two who is hard to please, the majority of your team will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Don’t let a negative person ruin it for the rest of the staff.
2. Make a gesture you can afford to repeat. Don’t go overboard one year, only to find you can’t be as generous the next. Find ground that works for you and your budget. After all, the holiday season is about traditions. Create your own!
3. Your gesture must be sincere. A hand-written card with honest words of appreciation goes farther than you think. And if you give a gift to one team member, be sure to have something equitable for the rest.
4. Know what type of bonus is appropriate. There are two types of bonuses: discretionary and nondiscretionary. Nondiscretionary bonuses are announced to employees in advance to encourage production, and/or to remain with the brokerage. With this bonus, employees expect that if they meet certain criteria, they will get a reward.
A discretionary bonus is not announced in advance, and is not conditional upon meeting any certain criteria.
5. Have a clear time-off policy. Provide your team with instructions for requesting time off and clearly communicate how vacations will be granted. (Seniority, first-come first-served, or a combination of these factors).
6. Plan your holiday party wisely. If you host the party during work hours and you have salaried employees, they will be entitled to pay for time spent at the party. And if attendance is mandatory, regardless of where and when the party takes place, such time should also be counted as hours worked.
Liability has become a growing concern when alcohol is involved at an office party. Consider legal counsel regarding the potential liability for serving alcohol at company events. Check with your insurance provider to determine what your coverage and liabilities may be during the party.
If you choose to have alcohol available, host your party in a public venue with a cash bar. Keep the party short enough to prevent over-indulgence.
7. Give back to the community. Office parties and bonuses are nice, but your team might be just as enthused about pitching in to help a worthy cause. Discuss volunteering opportunities and charity donations with your team. You might find that several of them are already involved in worthy causes, and would welcome a company contribution from you, no matter how modest.
Enjoy the holidays! This is your opportunity to strengthen rapport with your team and get to know them better. Enjoy yourself. Have fun with whatever gesture you decide to make.
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