Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Delivering The News About Staying Open For ThanksgivingAre you working tomorrow?  Is your organization open on Thanksgiving?  I hope that you are able to spend some time with your family.  This post will be a bit of an editorial.  If you disagree with me, please feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear what everyone is doing this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving

For those of us in the United States, we celebrate a day called Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November *.  This is a day where thanks are given for the harvest over the last year and for all of the hard work in collecting that bounty.  Recently, Thanksgiving has “gone rogue”.  It is gradually shifting to become more of a consumerist holiday, with stores staying open and sales drifting into family time.  In my personal opinion, I think that it is wrong to force employees to go to work on Thanksgiving.  Stores that open and “allow” employees to attend voluntarily are worse, because of the uncomfortable decision that it forces employees to make.  I understand some emergency and medical services being open (such as hospitals and fire houses).  However, I believe that Thanksgiving is a time meant to be spent with families and friends at home and not at the mall.

Delivering The News About Staying Open For Thanksgiving

Regardless of my opinion, many people are going to work on this day.  As someone interested in Human Resources, I would be curious to know how you handle this.  Obviously there will be some people that object due to religion, family, or just on principle.  How do you handle that?  Assuming that you are not the person making that executive decision to remain open on Thanksgiving, it is still up to you to deliver the news that attendance is required on that specific date.

If I had to give that news, I would try to be blunt, but open and honest in handling an employee’s potential feedback.  I would explain the policies and procedures of the organization.  Unless the employee brings up the overtime as a benefit to them, I would not try to spin it as a positive.  I would explain the consequences of not showing up for work.  If you keep it short, sincere, and stick to the facts, you ought to be able to deliver the news without causing major waves.

Stores Closed For Thanksgiving

As so many stores are now opening on Thanksgiving, I would like to list some of the stores that will thankfully remain closed:
Bath & Body Works
Home Depot
T.J. Maxx
P.C. Richard & Son
B.J.'s Wholesale Club
Sam’s Club
Fred Meyer
Fry’s Electronics
I hope that you will consider visiting these stores over the weekend after Thanksgiving.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  
Have a Happy Turkey Day!  Gobble-gobble!

     * Interesting Fact:  Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. 

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