HR Grapevine Advent Calendar: Keeping healthy over Christmas

HR Grapevine Advent Calendar: Keeping healthy over Christmas

Christmas is a time for indulgence and enjoyment, but it is still important to keep a healthy mind and body during the festivities.

Brett Hill, Managing Director for The Health Insurance Group, gave us his top tips to keep staff happy, healthy and productive in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

He says: “It is good if employees are given the chance to let their hair down and have a bit of extra flexibility to reward them for all their hard work, but it is also key for employers to recognise the tell-tale signs if a member of staff isn’t coping and give them additional support.”

1. Introduce a Christmas Incentive package

With only 15% of companies giving out Christmas bonuses according to Willis Towers Watson’s research, some employees may be lacking incentive to maintain a high level of productivity during December. Employers may want to integrate a workplace saving scheme, so that staff can save money throughout the year, and receive a lump sum when Christmas starts approaching.

 2. Avoid over-indulging

Christmas usually means lots of sweet, chocolates, mince pies and all sorts of treats easily accessed in the office environment. These are best to avoid whilst trying to maintain motivation, as they can give you a sugar rush, shortly followed by a sugar crash. Opting for something healthier will keep staff energy levels up, meaning they can get more done.

3. Offer a more flexible working policy

Christmas comes with many commitments and engagements that cannot be helped. It is important to remember that staff are human beings who do have a life outside of work. Whether it’s the children’s Christmas play, or needing time to get some extra shopping in, offering flexibility to employees at Christmas time can increase motivation.

4. Be clear on what is expected of staff during working hours

While it’s important to accept that employees will need to take the odd afternoon off in December, it is equally as important to ensure your team knows what is expected of them.

5. Be aware of different people’s different situations

Christmas is not always the best time of year for everybody. It’s vital to be aware of any personal problems your staff may be having, and keep an eye on those staff members who may be struggling through the festive period.

6. Jazz up the office

Making the office a more enjoyable place will help to get everyone into the spirit, and a change of surroundings may encourage motivation. Just decorating the place with a tree and some tinsel could make all the difference. Arrange a Christmas party, or exchange secret Santa gifts to break up the monotony.

7. Encourage an active lifestyle

Going for a nice walk over lunch can rejuvenate staff, and get them through the afternoon. A 30-minute walk can burn calories and prevent over 20 health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and mental health.

8. Say a simple Thank you

In the hustle and bustle of working life, it can be difficult to remember to thank everyone for their hard work at the best of times. It is even more essential during the Christmas period, when they would probably rather be at home with the family, to remind your staff that they are appreciated  and valued. Furthermore, January is renowned for being the month when people change jobs. Keeping your staff happy and motivated is the best way to ensure they will return in the New Year. 

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