6 ways to boost engagement this Christmas!
The festive season is upon us, and many employees are counting down the days until their Christmas break. Schedules are jam packed with every friend and family member we know vying for our attention in the lead-up to, or during the festivities. We need to shop, wrap gifts, and write Christmas cards, and there are parties and activities galore! Our time is no longer our own!
However, the focus is not necessarily on work, and so this time of the year can be a tough one for those championing employee engagement.
So, how can managers keep engagement high during the Christmas wind down and into a cold and miserable January?
Give the gift of time
Give people time out to do some Christmas shopping, spend time with friends, or see family. An afternoon off can be hugely motivating; especially if someone can choose which afternoon they take. Giving time out shows people that you appreciate their hard work but that you recognise that there is life outside of work too.
Giving time out also helps employees to focus their work time so that they can achieve their tasks more efficiently in the lead up to the holidays.
Set goals for 2016
At this time of year, everyone is focused on the next few weeks. It’s not until January comes, and the holidays are over, that the realisation of the year to come sets in. Working with employees to set motivating and achievable goals, that start now but span throughout 2016 can help to keep engagement high and generate excitement about future development. Setting short term and long term goals can be particularly effective especially if some rewards can redeemed during the hardest part of winter.
“Remind people of what went well during the year and celebrate their achievements. Talk about what is to come in 2016, the skills and behaviours they used to reach past goals, and how these apply to the future.
Appreciation is the best form of motivation”
Due to Christmas falling at the end of the month, often employees receive their salary before the holidays. This is, of course, motivating at the time, but many people spend a lot over the Christmas, returning in January to cold, non-festive workplaces with no funds to spend on enjoying themselves. Set goals for people to reach prior to Christmas but then reward them with a mini bonus in mid-January. Knowing how most people feel mid-January when festivities are over and the cash has run out, this is likely to help them to stay focused and determined to achieve their goals!
Work on you
Managers – provide the opportunity for your employees to give you feedback on how you’ve done throughout the year. Take the feedback and report back to them on what you’ve received and how you will work on those factors into the New Year. A fresh approach may be just what your employees need to spark engagement.
Fire up the knowledge seekers!
Engaged employees are knowledge seekers; they are always looking for ways to grow and develop. But, giving people the opportunities to learn also increases engagement. If engagement in your company is already high, or it could do with a boost, setting people up for training courses in the New Year and tying these back to the organisational goals and their personal development goals can keep them energized in the lead up to Christmas and on their return to work.
Feed the team!
Last but by no means least, at this time of year, one of the best ways to motivate your team is to host a Christmas/holiday party. People are always grateful for rewards in the form of food, drinks, and fun times! Small gift cards or cash bonuses are also good ways to show your thanks for work well done and are always appreciated when Christmas spending is high.
Christmas is an exciting family time, but it is also a key time to show thanks and prepare employees for their working future. January is a notoriously difficult time for many, so starting now to generate engagement that lasts into the New Year is a positive step towards engaged employees and a bright 2016!
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