Recognizing your employees shouldn’t be held off until the final two months of the year; however, the holidays are a great time to boost the momentum you’ve already made during the first 10 months.
With the festive season upon us, the highs and lows that come with it (treats, gifts, and so.much.family) mean keeping your employees engaged can be a tricky endeavor. Here are four of our top do’s and don’ts to keep your employees engaged (that don’t involve spiking the eggnog) and in the holiday mood all the way through the new year.
Do: Take time to recognize your employees
Bonuses, while excellent and always well received, are not the only way to acknowledge an employee’s excellent work. The holidays are a great time to find unique and creative ways to show your team you appreciate them.
- Put employee achievements on blast in a company-wide email or newsletter.
- Provide employees extra time at lunch or an extra break during the day.
- Gift your team members with a “Bring Your Kids (or fur babies!) to Work” Day.
- Cater in a holiday meal or maybe even bring in a masseuse for chair massages throughout the day.
Even the simplest of gestures go a long way, and seizing any opportunity to recognize the great work of your team will never be a poor holiday strategy.
Don’t: Force them into an un-comfort zone
Knowing what makes an employee uncomfortable is just as important as knowing what might leave them feeling unsettled. It’s crucial, especially during the holidays, to understand that not all individuals are created alike, and that includes the way you acknowledge their hard work.
If an employee is more introverted and shy, it might not be the best plan of action to draw attention to them during your company’s all-team Zoom meeting. Instead, try to pull them aside and recognize them in a manner that best suits their personality.
Do: Encourage employees to take time off
One of the most finite resources in the world is time. Instead of gifting employees heaps of gift cards and movie tickets, it might be more beneficial to encourage your workforce to enjoy a little extra time off.
Whether it be an extended weekend or perhaps even a full week, being an employer who holds their employees accountable to a life that depicts work-life balance creates and sustains an ecosystem of mutual respect.
Don’t: Manipulate the calendar
Additional time off is generally found to be much-needed and thoroughly enjoyed; however, this employee gift can backfire if your company puts constraints on which days an employee can or cannot utilize.
If your organization chooses to embrace a more flexible holiday schedule, make sure you aren’t forcing an employee to adopt a schedule that only serves to accommodate management and executives.
Do: Provide stress relief activities and suggestions
The end of the year can be a stressful time. But, pretending the holidays aren’t in full force in an attempt to avoid workflow disruption is a recipe for disaster. Instead, choose the opposite by taking time to be festive and fun in your workplace.
- Dedicate a day to decorate your entire office as a team.
- Have a contest for the most festive office workspace and/or cubicle.
- Bring in Santa and do a holiday gift exchange.
Whatever your organization chooses to do to embrace the holiday season, do so with a grateful heart. Having the awareness that the holiday season is, in fact, a season allows your workforce to embrace the moment knowing full well that a new season is on the horizon.
Don’t: Forget about your remote employees
Engaging your entire workforce during the holidays can create long-lasting memories and be incredibly fun; however, if your organization has put effort into obtaining a distributed team, the holidays can be a “make or break” time for employee engagement.
- If your business can afford it, pay for your remote employees to travel to your company holiday party.
- Help facilitate small work celebrations if you cannot bring your distributed team members in.
- Schedule a video conference with your entire workforce and encourage everyone to wear their ugliest holiday sweater.
Again, even the smallest gesture is better than no action at all, especially with those who work remotely.
When aiming to engage your employees during the holiday, it’s best to start out with the fundamentals: acknowledge your employees, show appreciation for their hard work, and leave no man behind. Anything more is the icing on the cake and will pay dividends in providing your company with value that will reach far into the new year.
Eager to jumpstart the new year with an engaged workforce? Visit our blog to learn more about creating a company culture your organization can be proud of.