employee at desk with holiday decoration

Keeping Employees Engaged During the Holidays

By Kimberly Kafafian


While the holiday season is a festive time of year, it’s also when workforce productivity tends to take a dip. Between shopping, coordinating travel, and planning for gatherings with loved ones, employees’ minds may be on anything but business. Plus, the pressure to meet year-end goals can cause workers to burn out resulting in them checking out mentally. As an HR specialist, I’ve found that managers who make an effort to keep employees engaged during December see a higher level of overall performance in their teams. Here are some activities to help your employees stay focussed on the tasks at hand as the year comes to a close.

How to Boost Employee Engagement in December

Offer Extra Time Off

The holidays are hectic. Show employees you care by being flexible with PTO requests and offering time off to handle all those to-do lists. Employees may be hesitant to ask for personal time, so be proactive and encourage them to take the time they need. Providing this perk will help employees be more focused when they are at work.

Host a Holiday Celebration

Events outside the confines of the office let your employees know that you value more than just the bottom line. Plan a gathering that allows everyone to relax, unwind, and enjoy themselves with their colleagues. This will create a more festive atmosphere in the workplace overall. 

Acknowledge Achievements

It may sound simple, but an acknowledgement has a powerful effect. A hand-written note, phone call, or email expressing appreciation for a job well done can miraculously boost morale. For significant achievements, consider bonuses or other monetary awards, team lunches or dinners, and team activities. When you value your employees and show them that their work matters, you inspire them to be even more productive.

Encourage Self-Care

Although the holiday season is stressful and exhausting, people tend to put self-care on the back burner as there is just no time to fit it in. Organize activities to help fend off employee burnout, such as meditation exercises, chair massages, yoga classes, or breathing workshops. 

Set Reasonable Expectations

Now is not the time to focus on impossible goals. Be realistic and set more attainable aspirations so that employees stay motivated to achieve them.

Promote a Work-Life Balance

An overworked employee will not optimally perform. Encourage your workforce to take breaks, unplug at the end of the day, and prioritize their mental health.

Looking for help keeping your workforce engaged throughout the year? Schedule a free consultation.

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