A few days ago, Bob Worn and I were reflecting on our
collective 70+ years of HR experience.
One of the things that we both remembered with fondness
was the inexplicable “magic” that seemed to happen in
companies on the 2 to 3 workdays before Christmas.
What we observed among coworkers had nothing to do with
religious beliefs because we saw this among people of all
faiths and people with no faith.
We labeled it “magic” because it’s something that doesn’t
happen on the 2 to 3 days before Thanksgiving, Memorial
Day, Labor Day, or any other holiday.
The “magic” that we observed was the fact that people were
a bit kinder and more understanding with each other.
We saw bitter enemies talking and laughing together.
We viewed coworkers offering a helping hand to individuals
who were a bit different than everyone else.
We noticed smiles on the faces of people who were
otherwise very serious and somber.
We found managers offering thanks to direct reports for
their hard work during the year.
In some companies, we would joke that it was a
“sugar high” brought on by all the cookies and candy. But
in all seriousness, it was something more.
For a brief 2 to 3 days before Christmas, there was a
noticeable change in the attitudes and behaviors of
employees toward one another that no management program or
consulting guru had anything to do with.
HR POINTER: Our final HR Pointer for 2010 is the
realization that the potential for a great workplace
already exists within your organization. It shows up a
few days before Christmas each year, and then vanishes
like Santa’s sleigh. Our challenge, and we do mean
challenge, is to capture this “magic” and have it
available all year.
Bob Worn and Rich Lukesh