New research from Peakon has found that 46% of UK staff admitted that their productivity levels wane in the run-up to Christmas.
In addition to this, the research found that seniority levels play a part in dwindling productivity.
For example, 64% of senior leaders – including those at Board-level – say that their productivity goes down at Christmas, compared with 45% of those with no managerial responsibilities.
One-third of senior leaders anticipate that their productivity will dip earlier this year, which the study said could be due to the added pressure 2020 has placed on those at the top.
‘Pre-Christmas productivity slump’
While it isn’t surprising to see productivity levels decline slightly towards the end of the working year, Peakon’s 2,000-strong study suggested that the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the normal pre-Christmas productivity slump.
In fact, one in five (21%) employees explained that their productivity will decline earlier this year due to the impact the pandemic has had on them.
Phil Chambers, Co-Founder and CEO of Peakon, said that the study’s findings show that workforces have “endured the pressures of an unprecedented year”.
He added: “As for the decline in productivity in the run up to the holidays, this isn’t unique to 2020. It may be frustrating, but it’s something that we all should be planning for annually.
“Once you accept that December is different, the final days of the year can become an opportunity to do something positive,” Chambers added.
With the run-up to the festive season in full swing, it is crucial for HR departments and employers to consider how they can keep staff engaged before its time to down tools over Christmas.
As research from Gallup has shown, companies with highly engaged workforces scored 17% higher on productivity, which can be hugely beneficial to businesses.
How can HR keep staff engaged in the run-up to Christmas?
There are many ways that employers can strive to keep staff engaged in the run-up to Christmas, such as hosting virtual Christmas Jumper Days and holding end of year awards ceremonies to recognise achievements in the workforce.
In a recent HR Grapevine column, David Wilkinson, HR & Communications Director at food manufacturer Premier Foods, exclusively shared tips for HR professionals that may be experiencing a drop in employee engagement in the run-up to Christmas.
He explained: “Many HR leaders will have been exploring new ways to engage with staff during the pandemic, but as a function we do work extra hard at this time of year to keep levels of engagement high and use additional tools to do so.”
While in-person Christmas parties may have been a good way for employers to engage staff and thank them for their hard work in pre-coronavirus times, Wilkinson said it’s important to consider employee recognition in a variety of ways when workforces can’t meet in person.
“We’re planning this year for an all-colleague address from the CEO as well as a festive video that shows all of [our] sites contributing to a festive theme.
“Personalised colleague Christmas cards are another option, as are looking at different ways to still bring people together, albeit virtually, through activities such as quizzes, festive-themed raffles or charity initiatives,” Wilkinson added.
To read Wilkinson’s previous column entries – which cover everything from festive rewards, virtual inclusion and recruitment trends among other things – click here.