Keeping your employees engaged in their work can be a challenge during the holiday season. Considering that the holiday season lasts roughly from the week of Thanksgiving until after New Year's, managers who don't find ways to keep their team motivated risk losing a lot of money during the fall and winter months.
Factor in that many employees will be doing much of their holiday shopping at work (and on work computers), and you've got an even bigger problem on your hands.
Brian Sutter, director of marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies, offers five tips on how to keep your employees motivated during the often-distracting holiday season.
Celebrate success — This can be as simple as using positive reinforcement, such as thank-you cards, phone calls or a congratulatory email when you see an employee performing well. If the accomplishment is much larger, you can treat the individual or entire team to an impromptu get together. This could include lunch, pizza or drinks at a local pub. You can also celebrate the holidays by taking the team to a seasonal, festive movie.
Set challenging goals — Goals are a great way to keep your employees and team members on track. By setting the bar high but still within reach, everyone will be striving to achieve his or her set of goals. Make sure goals are clearly communicated and in writing, so employees can refer back to the list as necessary.
Keep them in the loop — When employees feel that they are playing an active role in the development and progress of their company, they are less likely to resist authority. Plus, you never know what insightful information they may have to offer that could make a significant impact on your small business. Schedule a short-but-sweet weekly or monthly companywide meeting to keep everyone on the same page.
Create an enjoyable atmosphere — You’d be surprised at how hardworking one can be when they walk into an office everyday and feel welcome. By creating an atmosphere of acceptance, camaraderie and unity, your employees will feel more motivated to complete their work. Positivity is key — remember, your staff takes cues from you, so be sure the right attitude starts at the top.
Give them the tools for success — If your employees are lacking sufficient tools required to complete their jobs, chances are they’ll become frustrated and productivity will drop. Let’s face it, no one likes a printer that jams frequently, or a computer that shuts down on a whim. Take the time this holiday season to ask employees what needs replacing and what other problems you might help them solve. They'll appreciate your efforts and will likely stay a little more engaged in their work this holiday season.