Christmas season may be a time for celebrations. But sometimes, it gets really exhausting for people who work extra hard during this time. In the corporate world, they are more popularly known as the Human Resource or HR Team.
And so, we asked HR professionals in the Philippines about their ‘HR nightmares’ during the Christmas season. During the process, we gathered five recurring issues they commonly experience. Here’s what we’ve got:
1. The 13th-month pay
One of the things that employees look forward to during the Christmas season is, without a doubt, the 13th-month pay. The Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE requires employers to grant all rank-and-file employees the 13th-month pay as a mandatory benefit, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 851. It’s no surprise that everyone is excited to receive theirs, especially during the season of gift-giving and get-togethers.
Kindly note that this calculator can only provide a basic computation. It does take into account pay raises and unpaid absences—factors that may affect the total amount of your 13th-month pay. See sample 13th-month pay computation from DOLE's Handbook on Workers' Statutory Monetary Benefits 2019.
It becomes one of the HR nightmares during the Christmas season when employees become impatient about it. Employees expect to receive their 13th-month pay as early as the last two weeks of November and as late as the first week of December. When HR fails to meet this 'unofficial' deadline, employees start to constantly ask and follow up when they can get their pay. As much as the HR team wants to release the pay as early as they can, the work behind it is not as easy as it seems.
It even gets worse when HR doesn’t have efficient tools to automatically compute the pay for each of their employees. Having to manually compute for employees’ 13th-month pay is such a tedious muscle work. It exposes them to avoidable human errors. And for such an incredibly important responsibility, they don’t just go through everything once. They go about it for what feels like a million times.
2. Late or Small Budget Release
It has been a tradition, especially for Filipino companies, to celebrate Christmas in the office. While most employees wait for the celebration, the organizing team is busy preparing everything for the company Christmas party. Some companies assign it to different departments yearly. But usually, the office Christmas party is assigned to the HR department.
Budget is an essential component in events management. It allows them to consider the best gift ideas for their employees. It also gives them enough time to prepare Christmas decorations in the office. The raffle prizes that will be perfect to cap the year off are part of their preparation, too. When there’s little budget to none for one of the most-awaited company events, it’s hard to meet the expectations of employees who are all looking forward to it.
3. Christmas Party Preparation
Organizing an event for over a hundred people or more is already a hard task in itself. But it becomes one of the worst HR nightmares during the Christmas season once it falls in the hands an HR team that’s usually just composed of 2 to 3 people. As you may have already noticed, the HR department is usually the smallest department in organizations in terms of size.
Schedule mismatches between key people in the organization can be a major pain point in an HR’s part. It becomes stressful for them when this happens because it means venue reservations are on hold as well.
And once the schedule has been settled, they have to find a venue that is accessible for everyone, that is, if their office is not a venue option. Since it has been a tradition for many companies and organizations to celebrate Christmas parties, ideal event venues can be fully booked until the end of the year as early as September.
Building the program, securing quality catering services, finding a team of videographers to cover the event, and budgeting are just some of the legwork that comes with it. And this is on top of their daily tasks like payroll, recruitment, and employee relations. Although event preparations can also be fun, it becomes a nightmare when things go against their way.READ: Reasons Why You Should Plan Your Christmas In Advance
4. Excessive Employee Leaves
Christmas season is truly a festive time for Filipinos. And for this reason alone, many employees are excited to do their holiday errands and spend time with their family.
This leads to poor office attendance before and after the Christmas celebrations. Employees take excessive leaves that may affect and disrupt business operations. Christmas hangover becomes real when employees become mentally absent and lose their focus, especially after the 25th. It becomes an HR nightmare when a significant number of employees take leaves all at the same time. It’s one of the things they can do nothing about.
READ: FAQs on Wage and Wage-Related Benefits by DOLE
5. Storage and Distribution of Christmas Gifts and Raffle Prizes
Another Christmas tradition that many companies in the Philippines have is gift-giving. Employers show their appreciation to their employees by giving them gifts in the form of Christmas hams and baskets. And Christmas parties seem to be incomplete when there’s no raffle!
Part of an HR’s job is to choose, buy, manage, and distribute these gifts and prizes. It becomes one of the HR nightmares during Christmas because such a task requires a lot of legwork. Sometimes—and especially when there’s no enough time—it becomes too much for an HR team of two members.
How Sodexo helps HR professionals during the Christmas season
Sodexo offers solutions that make HR nightmares a blissful dream, particularly in Christmas gifting. As a fitting alternative to Christmas hams and baskets, there’s the Christmas Ham Gift Pass and Christmas Basket Gift Pass, which can save HR officers a lot of work in terms of storage and distribution. There’s no need to worry about spoilage or logistics. Plus, they can be assured that their employees get the best and freshest goods straight from the supermarket shelves.
As a raffle prize, there’s an option better than cash or other raffle prizes: the Sodexo Premium Pass. It’s accepted in over 10,000+ merchants nationwide, making it an ideal gift to employees with diverse wants and needs. It’s best for dining, shopping, and even groceries!
Good news! These gift certificates are only a few clicks away through www.GCregalo.com. Order now!
But if you are looking for an easier way to distribute your gifts this Christmas, you may check out the Sodexo Mobile Pass. It allows you to manage your gifts right at your fingertips! Through the Sodexo Mobile Pass, you may now send gifts via SMS or email, or through the Mobile Pass app which you can download for FREE in Google Play and App Store.