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5 Tips To Keep Staff Motivated Over The Festive and New Year Period

Christmas preparation seems to be starting earlier and earlier each year. No sooner have we packed away the sunglasses than the Christmas advertising starts. Before we know it, the John Lewis annual Christmas tear-jerker advert has staff huddled round the computer screen with hankies.

Thankfully, for businesses the frenzied festive period doesn’t really start impacting employee’s focus until November, lasting through to December and into January, as we get return-to-work blues.

This disjointed festive period full of parties, days off, hangovers, lunch-time drinks, a constant focus on buying presents causes employees to take their mind off work, leading to a drop in intensity, motivation and ultimately output. One third of managers surveyed by Accountemps believe productivity falls over this period.

While we, of course, want staff to enjoy the festive period, it shouldn’t go hand-in-hand with a massive drop in productivity levels. So, what can employers do to keep staff motivated during the festive period? We’ve set out some tips below:

1.Enable flexible working. Your flexible working policy in your employee handbook is one of the best tools you have for managing staff during the festive period. This is because flexible working can help staff better manage work-life balance as their social activities increase during this time. Rather than take holidays, they may be able to work late-shifts, early shifts, split shifts or swing shifts to help them meet their work commitments and social engagements. Show staff that you trust them to manage their work-life balance and give them the tools to do it and make their life easier, and this should be repaid with gratitude and a commitment to work harder for you.

2.Have Your Christmas Party On a Friday. Many firms make the mistake of having their Christmas party on a week day, which is a sure-fire way to reduce business productivity. Because, the day after your party, the office will be be full of hung-over, compromised employees, barely fit for work. You may also have some questionable sick cases. Have your Christmas party on a Friday, which means staff can recover in their own time over the weekend without harming productivity.

3.December and January Productivity bonus. If you experience a dip over this period, why not introduce a productivity bonus, rewarding staff who meet targets during this period? This will be especially motivational for the many staff who will have overspent during the festive period. Make sure you have a clear policy around bonuses in your employee handbook before paying it.

4.Let Christmas Into The Office. It’s about getting the balance right here. If your office becomes overloaded with Christmas paraphernalia and too fun-filled, it really could start to kill employee focus. But, if you kill the spirit of Christmas in the office, leaving it grey without decoration, staff may see your business as kill-joys, creating negative sentiment and reduced motivation. So, make sure to decorate the office tastefully, lay on some free food and soft drink and to get in the spirit.

5.Subsidised Gym Membership For January. Many staff will return to work in January with the post Christmas blues. One way to lift spirits is to exercise. Exercise causes the body to produce endorphins which make us feel more positive. Studies show that staff who exercise have better mental functioning. So, why not encourage your staff to exercise and at the same time boost spirits and productivity.

As you can see, lost productivity over the festive period doesn’t have to be a given. With the right preparation you can sustain output and in some areas increase it.



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