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Motivating employees is essential over Christmas to boost morale, productivity and reduce staff turnover rates, writes Daniel Tannenbaum from Xexec.

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A recent survey conduced by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) showed that 37% out of 1,000 workers were thinking of leaving their jobs in the beginning of 2016.

Forget Christmas bells, this figure should send alarm bells ringing to managers in big organisations. The cost of replacing key staff is huge when you consider how it can impact day-to-day operations, plus there is the cost of recruiting and training new members and the time it takes them to get up to scratch.

It is largely because the Christmas and new year period is a time of reflection where employees start to think about their priorities and goals. But the Christmas festivities gives managers and organisations an opportunity to do fun things and reward staff in ways that wouldn’t be applicable during the rest of the year – so we are pleased to share some of Xexec’s award-winning ideas for motivating staff.

Embrace Christmas Festivities

 Give your office that festive feeling with decorations such as tinsel, advent calendars and a Christmas tree. It’s about creating a fun atmosphere in the workplace and an escape from the regular day-to-day routine.

Other fun things you can do in the office include a ‘secret santa’ where everyone is drawn a random name from a hat and they have to buy that person a gift under £5. ‘Christmas jumper days’ are becoming a popular trend and this is just another way to create a friendly atmosphere in the office.

Christmas celebrations would not be complete without some kind of Christmas party. Whether it’s a fancy lunch or dinner or a team bonding exercise, Christmas crackers and party hats are a must and it is the only day of the year where staff and managers can let their hair down and reflect on the funnier side of their business. Christmas parties generate quite a buzz in the office – it becomes something that people look forward to and it creates memories.

 Nomination Programmes

As the end of the year draws near, nomination programmes are a way that colleagues can nominate each other for awards such as ‘best team player’ or ‘most improved.’ This acts as a great way for staff to empower each other and show their respect.

It is always important to throw in some joke awards such as ‘best dressed of 2015’ and ‘quote of the year.’

 Bonus Cheques

 Staff will always appreciate a healthy bonus at end
of the year which can consist of 10% of their annual shutterstock_320409500salary or an additional month’s salary.

According to the study by the ILM, around 56% of workers leave their jobs due to their salary. So having an additional bonus is key in order to keep staff motivated. Also, since employees usually get paid early in December for Christmas expenses but then late in January, there can be almost a 2-month gap without payment. So having extra income certainly goes a long way.

 Extra Days Leave

 In addition to financial rewards, staff will appreciate extra days leave. If possible, try give your employees a few days off over the Christmas break. Business tends to slow down over the holidays anyway but if you make your staff work over the Christmas season,
it can be de-motivating. If they must work, be sure to pay bonus rates or overtime.

 As a manager, you should be asking yourself whether you are motivating your staff as much as you can over the festive period and giving them the employee benefits that they deserve.