Ways to Keep Employees Motivated and Productive During the Holidays

So what can employers and managers do to keep employees motivated and working toward year-end goals from late November through early January? Here are eight suggestions, provided by business owners and managers as well as HR experts.
1. Recognize employees — with thank-you notes and/or small gifts. When employees are thanked for a job well done, they are motivated and inspired to do great work; they are driven to surpass company goals; and they are happier and more committed to their employer. 86 percent of employees say that being recognized motivates them in their job. So thank your employees for a job well done — and not just this holiday season but every day, year-round. The positive effect will be palpable.”

The time it takes to sit down and write a personalized note says a lot in and of itself. By expressing appreciation in a personal note, the recipient will feel appreciated by the effort and motivated to continue to go above and beyond.

Whether it’s a gift card to their favorite restaurant, a day or two of extra vacation time or the latest tech gadget, pairing a meaningful reward with recognition enhances the emotional connection employees share with the company. Whether you have a big budget or a small one, “find rewards that will have value and be meaningful” to employees, which will “create an even stronger connection between the individual, the company and its goals.”

2. Organize an Employee Appreciation Day or outing. There is no better time to show your employees that you appreciate them than during the festive holiday season.  Have a company-wide meeting to review the achievements of the year and discuss goals for the new year. And as a reward for their achievements, “treat your employees to a breakfast or lunch.” Or “if your company has extra money in the budget, consider taking your employees on an off-site excursion to work on additional team building and strategic planning.”

3. Give out awards. This will encourage employees to continue to work hard and will motivate them to go to the office to see if they are an award recipient

4. Provide free food. Never underestimate the power of food, especially when it’s free! The holidays are an opportunity for organizations to showcase that  And one way to do this is by offering perks like food in the office. Workplace survey found that 57 percent of respondents said food-based perks make them feel more valued and appreciated by their employers, and 50 percent said food in the office makes them feel more satisfied with their employers.”

5. Sponsor a volunteer day. “Give the team a day or half-day off to volunteer at a charity of their choice or as a company. It will promote fellowship and good will.

6. Pamper your employees. Consider bringing in a yoga and/or meditation specialist into the office. The need to “de-stress” becomes especially important around the holidays when stress levels become higher. Having someone come to the office makes it very easy for employees to take a break from their busy schedules and find a moment to relax.

7. Have staff engage in friendly competitions.  Start a healthy walking competition amongst the teams with step counters. The winner will receive a year-long gym membership to kick off a healthy and happy 2016.

8. Offer flexible hours. It has been proven that by offering flexible scheduling, employees will be more productive when they are in the office. This is especially important during the holidays, when workers are personally busy.



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