4 ways to motivate staff this Christmas

Business Management By Josanne Griffin-Mason, 10th December 2014

It’s that time of year again. Workers are bleary eyed from pre-Christmas drinking sessions, they’re more interested in online shopping than KPIs and overall productivity wanes the closer it gets to the festive break.

These tips are designed to keep staff motivated during the Christmas period.

Initiate flexible working hours

Productivity soars by up to 70%1 when people are given the opportunity to work remotely or during hours that suit their energy levels and personal commitments. In fact, six in ten managers directly attribute increased revenues to the flexible working practices they offer workers.

Around the holiday season, when the kids are off school and everyone is feeling financially strained, the time and travel expenses saved due to a flexible working schedule can significantly reduce stress levels amongst your staff. And honestly, there’s no need to worry about employees becoming idle, as studies have proved that workers will usually work longer hours when offered leeway to prove they’re not slacking off.

Provide a shopping day

At Plug and Play, we encourage staff to take an afternoon off to get their Christmas shopping done. This half-day doesn’t come out of their annual leave allowance and they can take it any day in December, prior to the 25th.

From a business perspective, we can fret less about our company time and bandwidth being wasted on Amazon, plus we notice fewer annual leave requests being submitted.

Alternatively, you could add an extra half an hour on to your employees’ lunch breaks in the run up to Christmas, which will give them the time to browse gifts online or pop out to the local high street.

It’s this sort of consideration that can go a long way in retaining good staff.

Incentivise targets

Christmas is a time for giving, yet bonuses may not always be feasible.

In the alternative incentives department, Dennis Publishing is a company to take notes from. Their recognition programme shortlists sixteen members of staff to win an all-expenses-paid, weeklong break for two at founder Felix Dennis’s private house in the Caribbean. Every year, the winner is announced at the Christmas party and the runners-up are awarded £500 in cash each.

Of course, not all of us have a luxury mansion going spare, but smaller tokens of appreciation can motivate too. Personalised gifts, such as a couple’s spa voucher for the newlywed amongst your team or a gym membership for the fitness fanatic, make people feel valued and build strong working relationships.

Keep skeleton staff happy

In some industries, it’s impossible to close for the holiday season, thus it’s inevitable that some members of staff will be feeling disgruntled as they spend Christmas and New Year in the office.

Make the cold commute and lonely days in the workplace a little easier by promising them first refusal for next year’s festive shift – and keeping their desks fully stocked with mince pies won’t go amiss either.

1 London Loves Business, 2014. 10 killer statistics that prove how transformative flexible working is. [Online] Available at: http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/tech/10-killer-statistics-that-prove-how-transformative-flexible-working-is/5476.article. [Accessed 8th December 2014].