The holiday season is a critical time in the workplace. From the days that employees prepare for Halloween leading up to the final days of the year, productivity in the office can spiral down. Of course, employees and employers alike are excited about the festivities, and rightfully so. But it’s your goal to keep everyone’s focus in check.

Peakon reports that 54% of workers confess that they get distracted more than a week before Christmas. No wonder, since this is the period where most people are doing their last-minute shopping and finalizing their holiday preparations. This dip in work productivity is a common issue faced by companies, and a recruitment agency can help in finding people during this time.

However, let this not be the reason to start micromanaging your employees. Treating them with a heavy hand can further plummet their work performance. Since it’s the season of giving, boost their morale in-theme with the holiday spirit, and you’ll reach a high productivity rate in the office.

 

1. Identify your goals

You don’t have to wait for the new year to start before you set new goals. But preserve and keep your employees motivated by evaluating your annual goals and objectives. Take this trying time as an opportunity to assess their performance and review their “wins” in the company for the past year.

Assist your employees in putting up small, achievable goals before the year ends to help keep their performance up and running, and their motivation in full swing. Small, actionable goals that eventually contribute to reaching a more significant objective can help keep their focus in check.

When managers help employees plan out their objectives for the new calendar year, they feel inspired to work harder. It keeps them engaged without feeling swamped.

 

2. Recognize small achievements

The year-end season is where employees feel the most valued. The Christmas bonus, 13th-month pay, holiday parties, employee-of-the-year recognition, and other festivities are opportunities for you to acknowledge the hard work of your employees.

But, these festivities usually recognize grand achievements. What about their small victories, and the effort they put in each day, especially during the last quarter of the year?

Even though employees appreciate big gestures when it comes to work recognition, small tokens of gratitude go a long way. Taking the time to send them a handwritten “thank you” note speaks volumes. The recipient will feel valued and driven to perform better.

 

3. Don’t ignore the season

The season already possesses a challenging mood in the office; it doesn’t make sense to suppress it. Instead, embrace the holiday spirit!

It’s the season of giving—you can try incorporating some holiday fun to encourage your team to keep their head in the game. Perhaps you can put up a gift card or event tickets for the first employee who meets his or her goal or quota for the week. Friendly competition among employees get them more focused and determined at work.

 

4. Re-organize tasks and your system

Since the year is nearing its end and your workers are finishing up the remaining tasks at hand, it can be quite tedious to keep up with everything. In a time where they’re juggling work, personal errands (e.g., “last-minute shopping”), and rest, assisting them in realigning their tasks can greatly help.

Start planning out your day-to-day operations and set out deadlines. As much as possible, take care of the tedious tasks early on, so you can minimize stress and cut down the workload before the year ends.

Make sure everyone’s aware of your company’s holiday schedule, so they can set a manageable and efficient system to follow. Should they end up working from home or if anything comes up, they’ll know what to do or who to reach out.

 

5. Offer rewards or credits

Giving out rewards as recognition to employees who continue to retain their focus and high performance during the season can motivate everyone and push them to go above and beyond. You can offer a work-from-home option (or free day-off if possible) to the employee who has the highest productivity rate.

Rewards don’t have to be exclusive to one employee. You can reward a department for meeting their monthly quota on or before the deadline. Treating the whole team to a cup of coffee, pizza or lunch can help keep their spirits high.

 

6. Set flexible hours

Employees and employers alike are personally busy during the holiday season, not to mention how traffic can become unbearable before Christmas. Consider offering a more flexible work schedule during this time. For instance, if your company work hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., you can give them the option to choose a more comfortable schedule (e.g., “11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m” or “7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.”) so long as they produce quality output.

This gives them ample time to run personal errands, or allow them to avoid rush hour. If possible, you can also try extending their lunch break should they prefer to make a quick stop at the mall before it becomes packed with holiday shoppers.

 

Take Advantage of the Season

Productivity drop at work during this season is inevitable, albeit manageable. It’s something you can easily work around with. Instead of stressing yourself out about employees losing their focus, realign your goals and plan exciting ways to spark productivity. Don’t let your workplace fall behind because of the holidays and instead, use it to your advantage.

A little bit of understanding, communication, and compromise go a long way. Let the holiday spirit flow into the office space and drive people to keep their eye on their goals. Work hand in hand with your employees to finish the year strong!  

Ron Cullimore