Thursday, 10 December 2020

Keeping your team engaged during the festive season

In the build up to the festive season, people often start to feel excited and become wrapped up in the happy atmosphere. However, sometimes too much excitement can create a lack of focus and motivation in employees, which results in them becoming distracted in their work as they start to wind down for the holidays.

The run up to the Christmas period is often one of the busiest times for businesses as there are deadlines to be met and loose ends to be tied up. Of course, this kind of pressure can affect the health and wellbeing of employers and management so it’s important to keep employees engaged and operations running as smoothly as possible without being a killjoy and dampening staff morale. A report by Gallup found that companies with highly engaged employees resulted in 21% greater profitability.

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your own and employees’ wellbeing while keeping them engaged at the same time.

Tips for maintaining engagement

  • Embrace the season and decorate the workplace. A brightly decorated workspace can lift people’s moods and by encouraging staff to help with the decorations during their lunch break, they can get into the spirit of Christmas without it eating into their working hours. This kind of activity is also a good team building exercise and great for (socially distanced) engagement. You could reward them with festive treats (although not too much or you might find them becoming a little bit giddy!) 
  • Play festive music in the week before the holidays, but perhaps not so loudly as to distract them from their work!
  • Arrange a Secret Santa with the promise of exchanging gifts at the end of a working day to motivate employees to complete their work first.
  • Organise a staff party on the last day before the holidays with awards and prizes for the most motivated employees. This is sure to make them eager to meet their deadlines prior to the award ceremony and will keep them engaged as well as making them feel appreciated at the same time. Make sure you also celebrate their achievements from the past year. In a survey by Glassdoor, 53% of those who took part said that appreciation from their boss would make them more likely to stay working at the company.
  • Send personlised Christmas cards thanking your employees for their efforts throughout the year. This small gesture can have a huge impact on someone’s wellbeing, particularly if they suffer from a lack of self-confidence or experience feelings of loneliness at this time of year.
  • Make the last day in the workplace a more relaxed working day - perhaps watch a film, host a quiz or a organise a few party games during extended break times. 

You’ll be amazed at how motivated and engaged your employees become if there’s a promise of an early finish or other rewards involved!

Remember that the festive season isn’t always a happy time for everyone, especially given the current Covid situation. By lightening the mood at work and offering thoughtful and personal rewards, you could have a positive impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing. If many of your employees will be working from home in December, be sure to adapt the above ideas by creating virtual online events instead.

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