How to keep employees motivated during the festive season

In the run-up to Christmas, most businesses will see a bit of a slump in their sales figures, but for many, that slump can extend to employee productivity too.

While you don’t want to be the workplace Scrooge, keeping employees motivated is important to ensure your business remains on track to hit its overarching targets.

So, how do you keep employees motivated in the days and weeks running up to Christmas, we hear you wonder? Here are seven simple tips…

1. Allow a little leniency

Happy staff work harder. The saying’s seriously overused, but that’s only because it’s true. Global business giants – like Netflix and Virgin – have proven time and time again that if you give a little, you get a lot back, and there’s no reason your festive stance should be any different.

Using Netflix as an example, they don’t believe in the standard 9-5 work hours, or even tracking them for that matter! As long as employees get all their work done, they can come and go as they please. 

That’s not to say you need to introduce an open working hours policy, but, if you can, share the festive love and relax your position on things like starting and finishing early to attend school plays, for example.

2. Don’t ignore it

The worst thing you can do is pretend the festive season isn’t here. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. And let people enjoy it.

More often than not, when you try to suppress people, you only heighten their desire to do something. So instead, sprinkle elements of it around – a bit of tinsel here and a few baubles there, it really doesn’t need to be extravagant.

But also remember that not everyone necessarily celebrates Christmas. Don’t force it upon people whose beliefs lie elsewhere, and try to incorporate a bit of everything so that no-one feels left out or disadvantaged.

3. Free food

You know what they say, the way to employees’ hearts is through their stomach. Well, they don’t, but it’s not far wrong.

It might sound trivial, but you’d be amazed at the difference a spontaneous doughnut and surprise chocolate cake can make every now and then. Of course, the more Christmassy they are, the better!

4. Make a team activity of it

This could be an out-of-work event, like a meal or activity, or, to keep costs down, it could be something as simple as organising an on-site team buffet – we speak from experience when we say it works!

Just get each team member to bring in a culinary delight of their choice, pull a few games together, hand out some tongue in cheek awards, and if you’re doing Secret Santa, exchange your presents.

This’ll not only show employees that you’re invested in them and committed to doing things for them, but it’s a great platform for a bit of extra team building too.

5. Non-financial incentives

If it’s practicable for your business, consider incentivising employees with things like an early finish on a Friday, an extended lunch break, or something silly like unlimited brews for the week – handmade by you or a team member, of course.

As we’re sure you’ve gathered by now, because the two are intertwined, it’s all about going that extra mile to give just a little bit more back, in a bid to maintain motivation until it’s time to clock off.

6. Offer a freebie

Let employees know you appreciate their continued hard work in the run-up to Christmas by offering out a freebie. To prevent your bank balance from taking a hit in the process, see if any local businesses are willing to help you out for the exposure in return.

A couple of suggestions include drinks discounts or seeing if a yoga teacher will come in and give a complimentary taster session, for example. They’re small gestures, but they show employees you’ve got their happiness at heart, which can correlate directly to a motivational boost.

7. Organised fun is the best kind of fun

If you organise your own initiatives and actively give employees a little down time to take part in some festive fun, odds are, they’ll be less likely to take it upon themselves to digress.

By doing it this way, you’ll be able to control how much work time can be spared, and, again, taking the onus will go a long way in showing employees that you’re willing to give a little, providing you get it back.

Not sure how to inject a bit of fun? Here are a handful of ideas: festive-themed bitesize sessions, like card making and present wrapping; mince pie tasting session; or cookie or bauble decorating classes. 

We’re here for you, all year round

Whether it’s help keeping your employees engaged, managing absence or dealing with disciplinaries – and everything else in between, we’re here for our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

So, if you’re a Citation client, remember, we’re available around the clock with our advice line. And if you’re not yet a client, you can still get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or use the form on this page.

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