Online Business AwardsOnline Business Awards

As Christmas draws nearer, it is all too easy for employee productivity to wane as the party spirit takes hold. Employers can expect to see increased work banter, reduced stress levels, a rise in absenteeism and a decline in motivation in their workforce. The Telegraph reported that one in three employees – an estimated nine million people – will mentally switch off for Christmas in the middle of December. Decreased productivity across the workforce will be reflected in the bottom line and this spells trouble for employers. 

shutterstock_166469852The good news is there are ways to counteract this negative trend. Here are five tips on getting the most out of your employees during the festive period and ensuring they do not fall off the beaten track.

Provide free food

According to a survey conducted by Seamless, 60% of employees feel that having company-provided food in the office would make them feel more valued and productive. Food is the way to everyone’s heart. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, why not have one day a week where the company provides breakfast for the team? Alternatively, lay out a spread of food in the boardroom one lunchtime. Don’t forget to take into account any dietary requirements. Small gestures like this can have a huge effect on the mind-set of your employees.

Organise Secret Santa

Exchanging Secret Santa gifts is a fun way to bring the team together. Take turns with picking names out of a hat, set a budget and some ground rules on what type of present is acceptable. This can create a real buzz around the office and ensure workers stay happy at work, which is essential to how they will perform.

Don’t overlook the Christmas Party

The office Christmas party is a sure-fire way to re-inspire workers and boost team morale so it is worth investing time and setting a budget for this. After all, this is an important way of you thanking your staff for their hard work all year long. Designate party-planning to a trusted employee and ensure they get the team’s input. Whether you are looking to hire an event space or book a restaurant, you’ll need to start planning early.

Reward hard work with a bonus

A Christmas incentive scheme aligned with your business goals would be warmly received by workers. The promise of some extra money in their December pay packet in turn for them hitting set targets is a sure-fire way to ensure motivation stays high. This will only work if the targets you set are realistic and achievable. Be transparent with your team and ask for their feedback to ensure they are all on-board.

Alternatively, you could always reward them with a small bonus on the last working day before Christmas, as a reaffirmation of your appreciation to them.

Be flexible

If your company doesn’t have a flexi-time policy, then why not implement one for the Christmas period? Make it clear to your team how many hours you expect them to log a day but explain that you appreciate they have other commitments at this time outside of work and want to help them. This will show that you trust your employees to manage their time and should cut down on the longer lunches and any attendance issues, which are common problems around Christmas time. Flexible working hours create a happier and more satisfied workforce and since it has been put in place to make their lives easier, employees are more likely to hold on to this new freedom and in turn work harder for you.