The most wonderful time of the year is often the least productive time in the office. But it doesn’t have to be.
Keeping employees engaged and motivated through the holiday season is no easy task.
Workers struggle to focus on their jobs—they’re busy shopping for gifts, planning parties, organizing trips to see relatives, and trying to figure out how they’re going to get everything on their massive to-do list completed in time. With so many distractions, it can be difficult to keep them engaged at work. But your business goals don’t stop during the holiday season, and if you’re in a leadership position, it’s your job to keep your team on task. Maintaining employee productivity during the holidays can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
What can employers do to keep staff members motivated from late November through early January?
Here are four suggestions to boost the morale and the holiday spirit in your workplace:
- Plan ahead. The most important thing you can do to ensure a smooth holiday season for your organization is to actively plan for it as early as possible. Managers should communicate early on the company’s policies regarding time off during the holidays and any blackout periods that may exist. Ask employees to submit their holiday time-off requests earlier in the year. This allows time to forecast staffing needs, arrange for additional coverage, and to adjust timelines for deliverables, if needed. Advance preparation will allow your staff members to enjoy the festive season while enabling you to meet your year-end objectives.
- Consider flexible working arrangements. This could be anything from remote workdays to flex-time where workers choose the hours they work to reach their weekly requirement. Letting your employees design their own schedule can help them to manage their personal obligations and work more effectively during this busy time of year. If being in the office is critical, other alternatives might include setting up a system where employees can start and leave work earlier, or cutting the work day short on Fridays during the holiday season. Flexible arrangements like these help your employees find time to attend to their work, family and leisure activities. Creating a work environment where employees are supported in this manner can do wonders to increase their satisfaction and decrease turnover.
- Celebrate the season. One of the best ways to keep staff engagement high is to throw a holiday party or other inclusive seasonal celebration. Something as simple as a team lunch can allow workers to unwind and take a break. Be sure to consider your company culture to create a suitable event. For example, you may decide that a simple potluck or community service activity is more fitting than a formal meal, or vice versa. You can ensure employee investment by incorporating them into the planning of the event. Even if the celebration is small, time away from the office having fun will help your employees feel refreshed and rejuvenated. But above all, don’t throw a party and expect your employees to pay for it. Nothing says seasonal hospitality less than expecting employees to pay for their own party.
- Show appreciation for your employees. The holiday season is a great time for employers to express their gratitude for all the hard work their employees have put in throughout the year. When it’s genuine and aligned with the company culture, a little extra employee recognition can go a long way towards boosting engagement and productivity. Celebrate your staff members’ successes with a meaningful gift, an end-of-year bonus, a one-on-one coffee break, or a thoughtful note of thanks.
Don’t be the Grinch during this season of giving.
Although it’s a busy time of year, make time to show your appreciation and spread some holiday cheer. Thoughtful end of year holiday spirit will reap the rewards of a grateful team that continues to provide exceptional work all year long.
Since our founding in 1996, The HR Team has been creating thoughtful human resources strategies and blending them with the best client support available. Please reach out to our knowledgeable professionals to see how we can help your company become its most productive.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.