Any time there’s a significant disruption to your business – whether it’s the result of a disaster or a major holiday or two falling during the middle of the week – your company might be faced with both deploying an away team or activating a rideout team. Given that there aren’t any major, widespread business disruptions as the result of weather this year, the higher likelihood is that your IT staff, at least, will be onsite and/or on call to make sure that everything that needs to stay up and running does so.
Which means that for the next few days when pretty much everyone else gets to travel or be with family or both, your rideout staff members – even if they’re only on call – are the most important people in your company. And while their sacrifice isn’t exactly heroic and, indeed, is very probably in their job description, taking a little better care of them than usual can yield huge dividends down the road.
So make the investment. Take a little bit of extra time and maybe spend a little money to show them that their devotion is appreciated. It’s not too late to consider one of the following:
If the staff is onsite, arrange for meals to be provided on Christmas but be mindful of shift changes. If you’re able to and want to make a particularly positive impact, deliver the meal yourself. The boss shows up at the office on Christmas Day with food? THAT makes an impact!
Also if they’re onsite, consider bending the rules just a bit relevant to their ability to keep themselves entertained. Unless it’s operationally risky, let them know they can watch TV or use the Internet to communicate with friends and family (but only on Christmas!). And yeah, you might need to clear this one through HR.
Another potential rideout team stressor that you can alleviate is what to do with their kids. How about arranging child care for the day/week with age-appropriate activities, fun meals and maybe some holiday crafts. Your skeleton crew – especially the single parents in the bunch – will thank you!
And of course, small/medium-value gift cards for Amazon, iTunes or any other major retailer are readily available and always appreciated.
True, working through the holiday is what they signed up for and what they’re getting paid for. But most of us can remember having to work over a holiday or two in our past, and doing so on a major holiday like Christmas can be particularly lonely. So spread a little cheer. Let them know that you know that they’re your most important people. It’s a good thing to do and it might pay off big time later.
From all of us at Continuity Housing, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2014!
Continuity Housing helps companies enhance their business continuity plans by pre-arranging guaranteed housing and providing logistical support for mission-critical employees during disasters.