The holiday season is traditionally the time when productivity takes a nosedive as your employees are distracted by endless occasions to party. For Minnesota employers, keeping them motivated through this period can be a challenge, but here’s what might just work:
Offer flexible working
Staff who are traveling over the holiday season will welcome the opportunity to work remotely. Flexible working allows for easier childcare arrangements and the opportunity to attend various social professional and family events while staying up to date on projects. If this feels like a step too far, monitor productivity and connectivity by requiring employees to log in to your server during working hours.
Hold a party
It doesn’t have to be an all singing, all dancing occasion – although it can be if that is your company tradition! Something as small as a glass of mulled wine together in the office encourages team building and fosters a positive company culture. At SkyWater, we always hold a party to celebrate the close of the year, and look forward to a new year.
Be realistic with targets
For business to business organizations, setting impossible targets when customers are on vacation will deflate morale and demotivate your employees. Keep goals manageable and realistic while still offering a challenge.
The end of the year is the perfect time to show appreciation for employees who have made a sustained effort throughout the year. Recognitions and rewards don’t have to be limited to the annual review. Add to the holiday spirit by rewarding the people who have gone that extra mile this year.
Giving a gift to your employees is a much appreciated gesture. Don’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. While wine, chocolates and book vouchers are always popular, get to know your team and what motivates them. Your older employees may welcome childcare vouchers while twenty-somethings may prefer vouchers to spend in their favorite store or a social evening with co-workers.
Hold team building exercises
It may not feel like the best time of year to announce a team building exercise but a change of environment builds morale, enables staff to build bonds of trust and fosters positive attitudes. Team building days also provide employers with the chance to review company achievements over previous 12 months and agree goals for the coming year. On return to the office you’ll find your team upbeat and often full of ideas they can’t wait to implement.
Have some fun
Encourage your employees to stay fit with healthy activities, such as a walking competition. The prize of a gym membership is ideal to help health conscious employees achieve New Year resolutions and start the new year on a high.
Lead by example
Supporting a local charity to give back to the community is a great productivity booster during the holiday season. Give your staff the opportunity to work with the homeless, support international causes, or fundraise for a cause that’s important to your organization. It doesn’t have to be restricted to cooler weather either. As part of our ‘giving back’ initiative at SkyWater we sponsored a ‘Walk A Mile For Smile’ (the Smile Network is a Minnesota-based charity partner of ours) early this year.
Today’s workers look for employers that look beyond making a profit. Show you are that type of business this year. I hope these ideas help generate some end-of-year momentum for your team.
What are some of the ways that you motivate employees during the final stretch? We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment to share your company traditions.