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The Gift of Family Time

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Looking for a meaningful way to show appreciation to staff that worked diligently all year to ensure your business success?  Let’s explore the gift of spending precious time with family.  There’s still time for 2010!

Employees are under added pressure in December from employers, and from family expectations. Businesses are asking for completion of annual objectives and projects by Dec. 31. Social and family expectations, while joyful in intent, involve use of valuable time, maybe travel, and there’s the money component.

The application of these ideas to your business will depend on your products/services. With some creativity, you’ll find something that has value for staff and works for your organization.


  • Time to attend a child’s school holiday event (do this year round).
  • Time to do some shopping – an extended lunch break or leaving two hours early.
  • A family party at work, welcoming partners and children at your workplace during working hours (3:30 to 5:30).
  • Let all or most staff leave at 1:00pm on Dec. 24.


  • For small organizations and non-profits, there is a trend to provide time off between Dec. 26 and January 2. A good time to relax, refresh and be with families.  If that’s not workable, have minimal staff either at the office; or, rotate an on-call process for emergencies only.
  • While Boxing Day is not a statutory holiday under BC Employment Standards, consider providing the day as a paid day off.  If you’re not a service/retail organization, think of the value to employees who can be at home with their families.


Engaged employees know the employer cares about their wellbeing and is appreciative of their contributions. Easy or Impressive, these valued gifts will reverberate back to the organization. Go ahead, try one.