A survey of 100 human resource executives revealed that July 3rd is just another day in the calendar. Only 25 percent of companies plan to give their employees a four-day weekend in celebration of our nation’s independence.
Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas conducted the survey which found that 56 percent of companies would be observing normal business ours. “Our customers around the world are open, so we are open,” one respondent told the survey takers.
“I am sure more companies would love to give all their workers the day off, but unfortunately, global commerce does not stop for many companies and even one extra day of not operating can put them behind competitively,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
Here are some suggestions from Challenger, Gray and Christmas on how not to waste July 3rd:
Drop the dress code. Invite workers to come to work in casual wear, shorts, sandals, and Hawaiian shirts.
Clean-the-office day. Since many vendors and customers are enjoying a four-day weekend, there is a good chance that not much normal business will be accomplished. Put a couple of big trash bins in middle of the office and encourage workers to clean out overstuffed file cabinets and desk drawers. There is nothing as cathartic as throwing out unneeded work-related materials.
Lunch-time pizza party. If work has to be done, encourage employees to get it done in the morning. Reward them by bringing in pizza and beverages for lunch, followed by a late afternoon shutdown. (Ilyce’s suggestion: Or, if you have the facilities, arrange a BBQ hotdog lunch for everyone.)
Build office camaraderie. The fictional employees on the popular NBC sitcom The Office recently held an impromptu office Olympics. Some managers may see such a frivolous event as a time and money waster, but the payoff to the company’s bottom line comes with increased employee morale and loyalty. It could bring workers together in a creative, fun atmosphere, which could have many benefits, including new business ideas, increased teamwork and greater understanding between co-workers.
For more information, go to www.challengergray.com.
As for my holiday weekend, folks, I’m off to England, to give a speech at Cambridge. It won’t be much of a July 4th, but I’ll be talking to high school kids from around the world about their idea of wealth and riches. When I get back (or maybe from there), I’ll post some of their thoughts.
This Sunday morning: A special pre-taped show on Newstalk 750. I talk with Dick Lepre, a mortgage broker and armchair economist on exit strategies if you have an option ARM or Interest-only mortgage. Then, MSNBC.com ConsumerMan Herb Weisbaum and I talk about scams, identity theft, and travel tips for the summer. I hope you can join us.
June 26, 2009.