Motivation | Maintaining Workforce Productivity in the Run-Up to Christmas

Maintaining Workforce Productivity in the Run-Up to Christmas

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, most workers are excited about the prospect of the Christmas holidays and the start of the party season. But this can affect employee motivation and workforce productivity.

According to a survey from Sodexo, 28% of employees say this is because they are winding down for the Xmas break and trying to avoid taking on new work.

Nevertheless, Christmas can be a crucial time for many businesses, especially retail sector companies, so it’s important to ensure that too much Christmas cheer doesn’t get in the way of end of year profits. Fortunately, there are things employers can do to achieve the balance right when managing their workforce.

Manage annual leave requests

One common issue that can affect productivity during December is employees using their annual holiday entitlement for extra days off during Christmas. For workers with family overseas, Christmas is the most ideal time to use any remaining days of annual leave to visit family members. However, this can create competition and resentment between co-workers, if some are refused leave in order to cover those on holiday.

Furthermore, seeing other colleagues winding down as they leave for the holidays early can be infectious, reducing workforce productivity further. To prevent problems, it’s important to make sure there are set protocols in place for approving leave at this time of year. Logically, this should work on a first-come, first served basis to be fair to everyone. This will also give management time to plan for any staffing shortfalls. The more flexible you can be, the better it will be for morale and employee motivation.

Get everyone into the Christmas spirit

Christmas cheer can be a motivator too – especially if your company has end of year targets. To get everyone feeling festive, decorate the workplace and play some Christmas tunes. At the same time, create a bit of light competition with Christmas treats, or bonuses for workers who hit December targets. This can really help when it comes to boosting morale and employee performance.

Offering flexible working hours, or the opportunity to work at home at this time of year, especially for those working over the Christmas period, can be useful too. This gives employees the chance to get their Christmas shopping done during business hours, reducing the stress that comes with the busy season and helps you demonstrate a commitment towards a sound work-life balance.

Together for Christmas and the New Year ahead

As with so much in the workplace, it’s important to find the right balance between recognising the time of year and driving the organisation towards key business objectives – especially if you want to ward off the January blues in the New Year. Plan ahead by calling a meeting, perhaps just before the office party, to discuss objectives for the New Year. Here, give workers the opportunity to offer ideas of how things can be improved, creating a greater sense of togetherness, which can work wonders for teamwork, cohesion and staff morale.

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