What Employers and Employees really want for the Holidays

Q. What do employees want for the holidays? What about bosses?

A. Well it’s that time of year again. Holiday music is ringing through the air, shopping malls are packed to the brim, and professionals are gearing up for the annual holiday party. In reality employees want money and time off, managers want money and time off, and business owners want more business. In the spirit of the holiday season, meaning there must be more, let’s see what employers and employees have on their wish lists.

Employers want :

• Employees to stay sober at the holiday party. Holiday parties should be a joyous celebration of the firm’s hard work and success, not a sloppy flashback to college keggers.

• Recent college grads to wear something other than skinny jeans and infinity scarves. Millennials have a different idea of what it means to dress professionally, and that’s OK; But lose the skinny jeans for slacks. And guys, yes people will notice that you wore those pants yesterday…and the day before.

• Professionals to stop using selfies as LinkedIn profile pictures – No one should see your nostrils from that angle.

• To read and respond to information about benefits within the deadline provided. Human resources sent them for a reason! They also included specific deadlines for a reason.

• For employees to stop doing questionable things on social media. Employers are tired of seeing statuses such as, “My boss is such a Grinch!”, so make it stop.

• Casual Friday attire that doesn’t include yoga pants. There is a website called ‘Tights are Not Pants’ that features people trying to use tights, yoga pants and leggings as professional attire. And guys, wear T-shirts under that too small sweater if you must wear it – Yes you have them, not just your dad.


Employees want:

• Holiday parties that don’t include Karaoke. No one wants to run into their coworkers at the watercooler after they “reinterpreted” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” in broken falsetto. No matter how much fun you think it will be, your employees will quietly hate you for it.

• Senior management to refrain from dancing at the holiday party. As much as you may be convinced you have the moves, odds are you don’t. Your dance moves will be burned into the brains of your staff and It’s challenging to take anyone seriously after you’ve seen them dance to “Mambo Number 5.”

• Early release before a holiday that isn’t 30 minutes earlier than normal quitting time. Either make it an early release by a few hours or don’t do it at all.

• Free coffee that doesn’t taste like free coffee. Coffee is the life blood of any company and employees look forward to it every day. Drinking bad coffee gets old faster than “Here Comes Santa Clause” on the radio. So in 2016, splurge a little on some decent coffee for your staff. It doesn’t have to be fresh latte’s from your local café, but it shouldn’t be the generic brand sold by your office supply store either.

• Casual Friday policy that isn’t limited to taking off your tie for the day. Friday has been ‘a thing’ for about 30 years now. Lay down some parameters for how your organization defines it and trust your staff to make good choices. We promise we won’t wear ugly holiday sweaters.


-Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Partners

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