From gratitude to gratitude: Keep employees engaged this season
Gobble, gobble! It’s that time of the year when people get together with family and friends, don their holiday aprons, stuff themselves with pumpkin pie, and give thanks for the blessings in their lives. But what about your second family? The folks who give their time, experience, and expertise to help your business thrive? Your work peeps.
Company culture and employee engagement are closely intertwined, and a business that prioritizes enhancing employee engagement reaps the rewards of boosted revenue, heightened productivity, and enhanced employee engagement. In fact, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable.
But when it comes to keeping employees engaged during the holiday season, it can be as tricky as hiding the gravy boat from Great-Uncle McGravypants. But fear not. In this blog, we’re spicing up the season with a platter of ideas to keep your team thriving while still enjoying the festivities.
Address holiday work challenges ahead of time
Would you wait until Thanksgiving morning to defrost the turkey? Or wait until Christmas day to do your holiday shopping. Of course not—it applies to most of us, anyway. It’s the same with employee motivation. You must pre-plan how you’ll actively engage your teams during the holidays.
Yeah, yeah. We all get distracted during the holiday season. So what? Well, chew on this: in the US, over 50% of employees expect to lose focus at work and ready themselves for the festive season starting around December 15th. Further, Peakon, a global data company, has polled more than 15,000 employees and is tracking what they call the Great Christmas Click-Off. By the last Friday before Christmas, 70% of employees were utterly “clicked off.”
Therefore, to have a holly jolly season and a higher performing team (like Santa’s elves), you need to get a head start on your employee holiday engagement planning now. It’s never too early to start, and with a bit of fun and creativity, you can make this year’s holiday season a memorable one for your team.
Time to start ring-ting-ting-a-ling-ing
Sprinkle some holiday sparkle and magic in your workplace. It’s a stressful season for many, so any reprieve may be helpful. This time to breathe can be a quick 10-minute event or much longer, depending on what you think your team needs. Want ideas? Keep going.
Set aside time for employees to deck the halls, cubicles, or home office with holiday-themed decorations. How about a “Best Dressed Thanksgiving Desk” or a “Santa’s Workshop Office Space” contest? Colorful leaves, pumpkins, and turkey feathers for Thanksgiving; elves, creative stockings, and ingenious snowmen during the winter holidays. You couldsupplement the personal workspace decor with a $5-10 gift card to Michael’s or another craft store.
A New Year-themed poster with words and images of the employee’s goals for the following year is a fun, visual way for employees to think creatively about their annual aspirations. You can hang the posters on the office walls to include teammate support and motivation.
There are endless ways to bring creativity and fun to the physical and virtual workspace as festive as Gran’s jellied fruitcake.
‘Merry Christmas, you filthy animal’
Yeah…that may not be the most professional way to express your appreciation to employees. That said, appreciation should take the spotlight in your holiday employee engagement strategy. Share your gratitude to your team for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Consider sending personalized thank-you cards with a sprinkle of glitter. Or host a Thanksgiving-themed appreciation luncheon with pumpkin-spiced everything. Remember, it’s not just about your words but the warm fuzzies they inspire, like getting a cozy hug from dear Aunt Edna.
Don’t get your employee’s tinsel in a tangle
The holiday season is a time for celebration and relaxation, but it can also be a whirlwind of obligations and cheesy Hallmark movies. To keep employees engaged, respecting their time and setting clear boundaries is crucial. As LightspeedHQ suggests, “Be mindful of the workload and avoid overloading your team with excessive tasks during the holiday season.”
Respecting employee’s time is an integral part of workplace inclusivity. Over 20 holidays between October and February reflect a cornucopia of faith and cultural backgrounds. Flexibility ensures that employees can enjoy quality time with their loved ones to celebrate the holiday traditions with personal, fulfilling meaning.
Support your Gnomies
Like a hot toddy, offering flexible work hours or the option to work remotely warms the cockles of the soul. HubSpot advises, “Empower your employees to take advantage of flexible schedules to balance work and holiday commitments.” This flexibility allows employees to manage their work-life balance better and helps maintain their engagement during the season. It’s like giving them a hall pass to skip that awkward family game of pin the nose on Rudolph.
Support can cover a host of approaches. Ask yourself:
- What kind of support do your employees need?
- Are the holidays a source of joy or sheer chaos for employees?
- What’s the contingency plan for employees who are out sick for multiple days during the cold and flu season?
- How can you ease the burden for employees while infusing fun and stress relief?
Take time to ask these questions as the holiday season kicks off. One employee wants to work through the holidays to avoid unpleasant memories. Another wants to take the entire month off to enjoy skiing. Knowing this helps you create an environment where you meet employee needs while still being productive.
Check out our blog, Grow Your Marketing with Gratitude, for tips on expressing gratitude.
Hire Santa’s helpers
Sometimes, the holiday season might bring an avalanche of work that’s too much for your trusty team to handle. Don’t hesitate to enlist some festive elves to brighten your holiday season. Seasonal workers can lend a hand with various tasks, ensuring that your team isn’t handling more than a Santa’s sleigh full of responsibilities. Adding extra support during the holiday hustle and bustle can transform the game, keeping productivity high and spreading holiday cheer.
Temp help doesn’t have to be work-related to benefit employee productivity and mental health. Have your employees bring in the gifts they want to wrap and hire a couple of gift wrappers to make the magic happen. Gift wrapping is a huge time commitment for some people, and dedicated gift wrappers are appreciated.
Provide a few DoorDash or similar holiday gift cards to make mealtime a breeze. Sometimes, it’s the little things that keep employees motivated.
Bring a chair masseuse into the office to help your employees relax and feel cared for.
The list of goodness is only limited to your budget and creativity. So, have some FUN supporting your team.
It’s all gravy
As you can see, keeping your employees engaged during the holiday season is like cooking a holiday feast—it takes preparation, creativity, and a dash of love. By addressing the challenge ahead of time, getting into the festive spirit, showing your gratitude, respecting employees’ time, and offering support, you can create a workplace that thrives during the holiday season. As Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” We are wishing you and yours a season of warmth and gratitude.