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5 Tips for Keeping Employees Engaged in the Lead up to the Festive Season

Nov 29, 2021
5 Tips for Keeping Employees Engaged in the Lead up to the Festive Season
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The holiday season is almost upon us. This is the time of year when employees' minds are elsewhere and they lose motivation. After a long year of hard work, people are eager to take a break and spend quality time with family and friends. 

However, having unmotivated employees is not beneficial for the business, and as a manager, it is important to consider the best interests of not only your employees but also the company. 

Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which you can support and encourage your employees during the lead-up to the festive season. Below are ways that you can do to engage your employees during this season:

1. Encourage Employees to Take Time Off

This tip seems counterintuitive because you want employees to continue working despite the distractions that the holiday season provides. However, working harder doesn’t equate to better performance. In fact, putting in more work than necessary results in employee burnout. 

Oftentimes a decrease in productivity is caused by fatigue. Therefore, instead of pushing employees to keep going over the festive period, encourage them to take a well-deserved break. Many employees feel as though management won’t support them if they submit a leave request form, so push through instead of asking for it. 

However, taking leave is incredibly beneficial for employees, and therefore the business as well. It is important to encourage a healthy work-life balance and to show employees they are valued as humans and not just as a number. 

At the same time, as a manager, it is essential that holiday leave is managed correctly. Ensure that all leave is submitted by a certain date and that the business can still function efficiently whilst people are off.

2. Acknowledge What Was Accomplished Over the Past Year

Whilst people work to earn money, many people also find pleasure in their jobs and get satisfaction out of doing it well. As a result of this, employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their efforts. One of the best ways to do this is by acknowledging their accomplishments over the past year. 

There are multiple ways to show your appreciation to employees. One of them is by giving monetary rewards or bonuses to employees that have exceeded their goals.

However, you don't have to reward employees with cash just to show your appreciation. Other options include a team dinner, team retreats, and verbally congratulating employees on what they have achieved. 

By verbally telling each of your employees how much you appreciate the work they put out and showing how much it impacted the bottom line, you increase employee engagement and morale in the company. According to a Great Place to Work Institute survey, 37% of employees consider recognition as one of the "most important drivers of great work."

Since employees have proof that their work matters, you also inspire them to produce better work moving forward, knowing that it serves a purpose in the organization.

As a result, this promotes a work culture of purpose-driven employees who take pride in the work they do in your organization. This kind of work environment also helps improve employee retention rates because nobody is willing to part from a company that acknowledges the value they provide.

3. Arrange Fun Activities or Parties

While business is mostly about the bottom line, you should also allow time for fun and games. Arranging parties and activities leading up to the holiday break allows you to break the invisible barriers that exist between teams and departments in your organization. 

Employees within the same department stick together, which is understandable to a degree. However, engaging employees in your entire company to socialize together regardless of which teams they belong to should help create a festive atmosphere during the holidays and moving forward.

Activities and parties also build camaraderie among employees which ultimately leads to higher levels of motivation. 

Events can range from something simple such as a team dinner to bigger events like parties. Themed parties are a great way to incorporate the festive spirit and allow employees to relax and enjoy themselves. 

Regardless of the type of event, it is also a good idea to include games and activities. Secret Santa, quizzes, and presentations are all good options.

4. Start Planning for the Year Ahead

Although focusing on the holidays and having fun helps with motivation, it is also good practice to remind your employees that work will resume in the New Year. Interestingly, planning for the year ahead is a great source of motivation for your team. 

Planning is not always reserved for the end of the year; in most businesses management works on quarterly reviews and plans to go over how the past three months have been and what the focus is for the coming months. This allows businesses to assess what has been successful and what needs to be adjusted. 

Quarterly plans are even more important as the year comes to a close as businesses will want to hit the ground running in January. Planning can also be used as a tool to help with employee motivation by allowing employees to get involved and share their thoughts on what they believe would be beneficial in the coming year. 

Knowing there are goals and a plan in place for after the holidays often improves motivation because employees know there will be a new challenge after their time off. 

The end of the year is also a good time to consider employee development. Spend time chatting to your team to find out what drives them and how you can support them moving forward. 

By finding out their career goals and objectives, you can offer them developmental programs such as special projects, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, and other activities that will help unlock their potential of becoming future leaders in your organization.

5. Offer Stress-Free Services and Programs at Work

Let’s face it: all this preparation for fun activities is just as taxing even if it’s done in the spirit of the holidays. The simple truth is that although the festive season is fun, it can also be exhausting. 

Many people find the holiday season incredibly stressful, and some employees may not feel refreshed even after some time off. 

To counter this, extra steps can be taken to provide employees with resources to help them deal with stress in productive ways. Some examples could include sharing wellness tips or doing breathing exercises in team meetings.

Finally, you can offer corporate health programs to people in your company looking to get in better physical and mental health. These programs will invite fitness instructors and meditation specialists over to hold regular sessions after work for employees interested in getting to better shape.


The chaotic winter months can make people lose sight of your company goals to help you finish the year strong. And you definitely can’t achieve this if you don’t get your employees involved and motivated to do the remaining work at hand.

However, just as important as producing work during the festive season, it is crucial to make your employees feel valued and appreciated in your organization. Therefore, instead of finding more ways to get them to hand over more deliverables at the end of the year, the tips above allow you to give them the credit they deserve after doing an excellent job for your company.

Therefore, by following the ways to keep employees engaged and motivated during the holidays, you can boost employee morale and promote a stronger culture, both of which are important to business success.


Author Bio: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!

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