Opinion

Motivating your employees at Christmas

Inspiring staff year-round can be a challenge, but the Christmas season opens up a wealth of new opportunities. As we shift our attention from office filing to figgy pudding, it can feel like an uphill struggle keeping everyone focused on work. But how do you do it in a professional manner without coming over as a party-pooper?

From social activities and the annual fundraising drive, to employee awards or end-of-year survey with festive incentives, there are many engaging ways of giving staff that much-needed boost at the end of a long year!

If your employees have already taken part in lots of training and other career development events this year, now could be the ideal time to lighten up your activities, or perhaps offer something that’s useful at this time of year.

Like a good box of festive chocolates, here’s a tasty selection of ideas to inspire your action-plan to motivate your team this December.

 1.    Classic Christmas party

If you’ve been so busy you haven’t organised your Christmas social event yet, get employees involved in the decision-making. Some people don’t celebrate for personal or religious reasons, so asking for everyone’s opinions makes for a more inclusive and sensitive approach  A traditional office bash is generally a popular choice and appreciated when funded (or part-funded) by the employer. Read Pure’s tips on organising a great party and think of ways to give it a personal touch. Why not get in food sourced from local farmers? Or buy beer from a local micro-brewery? It’s a very positive (not to mention trendy) way to show your support for other businesses on your doorstep.

2.    Goal setting for 2014

Christmas is the perfect time to give this a fun twist and encourage workers to look ahead to 2014 with optimism. You can include great incentives and get staff mingling over mince pies and collaborating with each other on brainstorming. They could even come up with goals that perhaps wouldn’t have occurred to them without such interaction.

3.    Giving gifts

If you’re in the position to give employees presents this year, there is a bounty of choices out there. But since lots of people are still feeling the impact of the recession, go for practical options. Or why not encourage your staff to organise a Secret Santa?

4.    Flex the working day

Christmas is a busy time of year and – trying to fit in shopping for gifts and food on top of your normal working routine is tricky, so consider offering a more flexible working day even if it’s for a limited time. Allowing staff to re-arrange their hours, starting earlier or working later can really ease the strain of Christmas logistics and will be really appreciated by your team!

          5.    Working over the holiday period

If you have a skeleton staff that needs to man the office over the festive period, why not introduce an element of fun. Offer extra incentives for staff to hit their targets such as a bottle of fizz. Or why not take 30 minutes over the lunch break to hold a Christmas-inspired quiz or bingo with more prizes up for grabs?

 6.    Support your staff

Although this time of year is jolly for many people, for some it’s not that welcome. If you think any colleagues may be vulnerable to the pressure of the season, look at providing appropriate support in the run-up to the Christmas break.

Whatever you decide to do this year, make sure staff genuinely benefit from it. Everyone at Pure wishes you and your team a very merry Noel! And do let us know how your festive activities go - email Anna.Hill@prs.uk.com.