How to keep your employees motivated during the festive period

How to keep your employees motivated during the festive period

Keeping your employees motivated during the festive period is tough. With various social events, family visits and trips away to look forward to, as well as the joys of Christmas shopping, it can be very easy for employees to get distracted and lose focus.

At the same time, December also comes with the pressure of meeting end of year targets and wrapping up outstanding jobs, so it can also be a highly stressful time for some of your employees.

With it being the most wonderful (and possibly stressful) time of the year, it’s no surprise that motivation levels tend to dwindle. Low morale can spread across your workforce and make people feel like they don’t want to come into work at all. So, what can you do to reignite your employees’ drive and keep momentum going until the end of the year?

Here’s some simple ways you can boost morale, drive productivity and keep your employees going over the festive period.

1. Introduce Christmas incentives

The run up to Christmas is the perfect time to introduce a themed incentive scheme that rewards your employees for hitting their targets or meeting specific goals. Whether this is administered through a reward platform or organised by managers, having the prospect of a reward will encourage your employees to work harder and give their best throughout the festive season. You could give them a choice with reward points, offer them a specific prize like an experience day, Christmas hamper or a cash reward, or you could simply keep it a surprise to generate more excitement. A good incentive will drive good performance, it’s as simple as that.

Seasonal incentives are a great way to boost motivation at crucial moments in the year where employees might need a bit of a push. So perhaps this is something to think about for other points in the year too?

2. Embrace the festive celebrations

While it’s necessary for your employees to continue to work hard in December, there’s no need to take a ‘Bah-Humbug’ approach and pretend that Christmas isn’t around the corner. Your employees deserve to enjoy the festive period, so why not bring some festive fun into your workplace?

There are a number of things you can do to embrace the festivities:

Decorate your workplace

It’s amazing what fairy lights and some tinsel can do to lift people’s spirits. Get all your employees involved to turn the work environment into a Winter Wonderland.

Organise Secret Santa

This fun activity allows people from all areas of your business to connect through gift-giving. Simply pop names into a hat for employees to pick, decide a spend limit and organise an event for everyone to bring in their presents.

Take part in Christmas Jumper Day

Whether you organise your own day or take part in the charity event on Friday 13th December for Save the Children, this day adds a bit of fun to the working week and means that everyone gets to weird their favourite festive jumpers at work.

Give out tasty treats

A great way to acknowledge your employees’ hard work over the Christmas period is to offer them tasty treats. Whether you stick to the firm festive favourites like mince pies, gingerbread men and chocolate selection boxes, or go all out with a wide range of snacks (this is what we do), food is a great pick-me-up for employees and will help keep them going when things get manic.

Any efforts you make to embrace the festive season will help to minimise stress, boost morale and add a bit of Christmas magic to your employees’ time at work.

3. Be flexible

Christmas is a busy time and your employees will have various demands outside of work that will require some flexibility from you as an employer from time to time. Whether it’s to watch their child in the nativity or pick up a relative from the airport, there’ll be occasions in the run up to Christmas where you can give employees the option to do flexible hours or work remotely.

By being flexible, not only will you support your employees’ work/life balance, you’ll support their wellbeing too. It can often be very stressful trying to keep up with both work and personal commitments especially over the Christmas period, so if you’re accommodating it’ll make a real difference to your employees.

Sometimes flexible working isn’t possible, but you can still be flexible in your approach to work to relieve your employees of stress and ensure they are able to perform at their best when they come into work. What can you do to make sure your employees have a work/life balance this Christmas?

4. Say “thank you”

Employee recognition is of course important all year round, but Christmas is the perfect time to say a big “thank you” to your employees for all their hard work throughout the year as well as over the busy festive period. Showing your appreciation will give your employees an extra bit of motivation to keep up the good work so they end the year on a positive note.

An end of year award ceremony is a good way of celebrating your employees’ efforts because it shines the spotlight on particular people who have really gone the extra mile. This could be a glitzy affair or a simple company-wide get together to share thanks and applaud the great work that has gone on in your business.

Alternatively, you could give Line Managers the budget to give their team personal gifts for Christmas as a special thank you. Some businesses even make a donation to charity on behalf of their employees, others simply let their employees leave early.

Whether you decide to host an event, give out physical gifts or make a charity donation, tokens of appreciation make employees feel valued and spread positivity around your business. What is truly important is to ensure gratitude is displayed face-to-face regardless of the other gestures you make. A genuine “thank you” makes all the difference and shows employees you really care.

Christmas is the busiest time of the year for some employees, whereas for others it’s when things wind down and there’s the opportunity to lose focus. Just remember, if you go out of your way for employees, they’ll go out of their way for you. Keep an eye on morale over the run up to Christmas and try to strike the right balance so that your employees are driven to work hard but can enjoy the festive fun too.

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