The holidays can be a difficult time for employee management. Whether your business is busy or slow during this season, the fact remains that your employees are distracted by, well, the holidays. There are days off, kids on vacation, and more.
All of this is to say that, while this can be an incredibly busy time at work, it’s also a busy time in an employee’s personal life. It is important to understand this while striving to keep your team motivated throughout this season.
Holiday distractions are much different from everyday life distractions. The holidays will end, kids will return from school, and gift shopping will eventually be over with. However, while the holidays are going on, employees are not going to be particularly moved by a “hang in there” poster.
Here are some motivational techniques that work specifically for the holiday season:
Recognize that there will be distractions and ask employees how best to support them.
Sometimes just telling an employee that you understand their situation lifts them up and gives them the motivation they need to have a productive week. Other times you will need to provide more options so that employees can focus on work. This may include providing a long lunch one day a week so that employees can get their online shopping wrapped up. It could be that you support some work from home on snow days, school vacation days, and during late starts.
Listening to your employees and working with them to provide solutions to improve focus and productivity during the holidays is the best way to keep your team cohesive throughout the season.
Don’t throw mandatory holiday parties
Mandatory holiday parties are not parties; they are business obligations. Making attendance to an unpaid company event mandatory is not very much fun for the attendees. No matter how great the party was, they still had to take time out of their busy personal lives to attend.
Instead, throw a voluntary party. Ask employees if they will be able to make it, get a headcount, and plan accordingly.
Provide a holiday bonus
Not all companies can afford to give out a holiday bonus, but if you can give one, this is an excellent incentive for employees. Often, companies will provide production or sales-based bonuses during the holiday season, which is a great way to stimulate sales figures and growth.
If you can’t give out a bonus, try providing staff with a small physical gift. Surveys show that one in ten employees prefer a physical gift, and many go on to enjoy it.
Stock up on healthy foods and drinks
While skipping the candy in the breakroom or on the receptionist’s desk may not seem very jolly, it’s important to recognize that this is cold and flu season. Be sure to support employee health in every way possible. Here are just a few things you can do to keep employees healthy during this season:
- Provide free fruit instead of candy (apples, pears, oranges, and persimmons are all delightful this time of year)
- Stock up on hand sanitizer, tissue, and disinfectant
- Provide access to an electric kettle and a variety of non-caffeinated hot beverages
- Encourage ill employees to stay home or work from home
- Keep common areas clean and sanitized
- Get indoor plants or an air purifier
- Encourage chilly employees to stay warm with hot water bottles or heating pads
Most employees want to work during the holiday season so they can support their days off, gift buying, and more. Support this by keeping your office clean and healthy.
Make the company goals for the season clear.
The holidays are about to begin in earnest. Be sure to communicate your company goals for the season and provide the resources your employees need to accomplish these goals.
Cut down on meetings and instead focus on organized productivity.
Many companies are very busy during the holidays. Keep things moving with organizational systems and strategic emails or updates – rather than time-consuming meetings. It may be that cutting down on meetings and focusing on overall productivity could benefit your company all year round!
Focus on communication
Utilize systems like Slack or other interoffice communication tools to support better communication throughout these busy months.
The above strategies focus on keeping your employees healthy, productive, communicative, and encouraged throughout the holiday season. Find out how else you can motivate employees and encourage productivity. Contact the Business Success Consulting Group today!