Holidays are coming… but how do you handle vacations whilst maintaining your culture and keeping people engaged?

You may be familiar with the coca-cola seasonal campaign ‘holidays are coming’ – but how do you keep your people engaged and moving in the same direction as the summer holidays approach?

The festive holidays are a long way off, but as a global agency, we know only too well that our UK and US teams deserve well-earned vacation time and many of them choose to get away during the traditional summer school holidays.

In the UK schools break up for the six-week summer holidays in mid/late July, which triggers many of our working parents to also request annual leave.

So how do we manage ‘the great escape’? And who picks up the pieces while valuable team members travel the globe, enjoy downtime with their families or head off for rest and relaxation?

Our people team is well versed in managing holidays and here at ramarketing, we devolve holiday approvals to our Heads of Department and Managers enabling them to take into account personal circumstances so that our people and the business are both happy. It’s important to ensure we release staff to take their holiday entitlement whilst also balancing work, prioritising client projects and ensuring we have enough cover to offer a seamless service across all time zones without leaving the people left in the office and at their home-based desks drowning in work!

We appreciate this challenge is as old as time, but now that we have hybrid and remote working, how do we plan around holidays and keep the business moving Monday to Friday whilst keeping everyone engaged and motivated…?

Here are the simple tips we recommend for keeping employees engaged during the peak holiday season.

Encourage time off

Yes, we actually encourage our people to plan regular breaks and to use their holiday entitlement. We work hard and we deserve to play hard. Professional burnout is not pretty and we don’t glamourise work hustle. We promote a healthy work/life balance and time away from the business usually reaps untold benefits. People return with a refreshed perspective and increased motivation. They are generally happier and more productive.

Our culture is built around flexibility and this includes being flexible around holidays, childcare and sabbaticals or career breaks.  

Acknowledge accomplishments 

Before our people start to disappear on holiday, we take time to reflect on the previous quarter and celebrate our successes. We remind ourselves of what we have accomplished and what lies ahead for the remainder of the year.

Sending people away on a positive enables them to enjoy their break from the office and to return with a positive mindset.

Focus on fun 

We focus on fun whenever, wherever, and however possible!

We spend a lot of time at work so it is important that our teams enjoy their time in the office and home working. Now that we can get together more we encourage our team to work from our offices more frequently and to collaborate as teams, in addition to inviting them to company updates and celebration events.

Earlier this month we gathered our entire global team to attend a summer away day at a beautiful Northumberland hotel. The day was spent delivering company updates, looking ahead to 2023, networking with colleagues and participating in team-building activities to bond our people and get them working in perfect harmony (if you haven’t seen the footage of our singing challenge you need to see our LinkedIn post!). We also found time to present a much-deserved company award, to dine and dance together and best of all we enjoyed the most spectacular firework display. The day was uplifting and energising. The feedback we received from a diverse cross-section of employees proved we’d hit the mark – giving people a memorable and enjoyable experience and sending people into the holiday season more engaged than ever!

Plan early

Getting ahead of the planning is really important. At ramarketing we focus a lot on the future – always keeping our eye on the next quarter, trends in the sector, and how we can develop and grow our business.

Mid-way through the year we start to plan for the next by refining detailed business development and marketing plans so we can set a clear roadmap for our team and get them pulling in the right direction.

Early planning engages people across the business and makes people feel a part of something. Knowing exactly where we are heading helps people to head off their holidays with a solid understanding of what lies ahead and where their efforts need to focus when they return.

Reduce stress and offer lovely perks!

Finally, we work hard to keep our people happy and minimise stress by offering a healthy work/life balance so that they don’t go on leave totally depleted and drained. 

Our flexible, hybrid working helps with this in addition to ongoing support, team collaboration, clear escalation channels and wide-ranging employee benefits that offer support for everyone’s mind, body and soul, plus a comprehensive employee assistance programme.

From training and development to informal brunch and blooms sessions and Fika (cake and coffee breaks), we look after our people. Our office and remote teams can access weekly pilates, or contribute to team meetings by offering a weekly check-in on their mental health, wellbeing and energy levels. In addition to the array of employee benefits and people-centric policies that support people at all levels in our business.

As if that isn’t enough we also lay on great travel perks and a huge number of tasty treats in our Newcastle head office – there’s something to suit all tastes, from hot cold drinks to healthy snacks and naughty sweets, our team can even contribute to the office playlist and choose where they want to hotdesk from and whether they’d prefer a standing or sitting desk. The options are endless.

We love our people and want them to look forward to returning to work with a smile on their faces and a positive outlook. 

Striking the right balance is tough and it takes hard work, people engagement and listening to feedback to get it right. We’re confident our approach is well informed but we’re open to input and constantly striving to improve.

One thing is for sure – reward your people and they will reward you.

To learn more about the ramarketing culture visit our careers page.

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