The festive period is the perfect time to say thank you and reflect on achievements

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There’s a great saying that goes, “Find a job you like, you’ll never work a day in your life.” For a lucky proportion of us, this is very apt. However, many of us also work out of necessity. That doesn’t mean we’re having a bad time and dislike our jobs. But at certain times, like Christmas and the start of the new year, morale can waiver and wages alone aren’t the most effective means of motivating your team.

Christmas can be one of the most challenging times for many businesses. It can mark the year-end and be the biggest earning quarter. Faced with fewer man-hours to do the same amount of work and employees that are focused festivities, it can be difficult to maintain a ‘business as usual’ status quo. And keeping your employees focused and driven to achieve great things right to the end of the year can be challenging.

The festive season is also a time when businesses can make a mistake by letting staff, who are looking forward to a well-earned rest, go off on their holidays without addressing any internal issues. This results in top talent succumbing to the ‘new year, new you’ motto in search for new job ventures.

So how do you keep your team motivated over Christmas and into 2018? How do you reward their efforts and show appreciation? The key is excellent communication and sincerity, great rewards and good application.

Here’s a handful of ways you can ‘spice up’ the seasonal period of Christmas and New Year to genuinely give your valued staff the appreciation you think they rightly deserve:

1. Say Thank you at the end of the year

If possible, a heartfelt thank you to the whole team at the end of the year is ideal. You want your staff to leave for the festive break on a positive and motivated note. Gaining and driving momentum in January is a challenge for any business after a break of festivities, but if you end the year with your staff on an upbeat note they’ll be more likely to return ready to achieve great things.

2. Ask your employees what they want from 2018

The last few weeks before the Christmas break is the perfect time to ask your staff how they felt about working for their company in 2017, and what motivated and de-motivated them. It’s crucial this communication is conducted personally and be sure to use this time to find out what your employees would like from their job in 2018.

All the feedback should be listened to with an open mind and considered when launching plans and campaigns for the New Year. Your employees are the people on the ground, working for the business day-in-day out, so they really do hold the key to a happy and engaged workforce.

3. Remember it’s the small things that can make a big difference

Your employees will be feeling pressure in the run up to Christmas, not only because they’ll have work projects to complete, but they’ll also be juggling Christmas outside of work for their family and friends, too.

Introduce some festive cheer, let your staff take a few hours off to pop into town to run festive errands or do some online Christmas shopping (on a rota). Bring your employees together and celebrate,

Many employees’ will no doubt be feeling financial worries in December with all the festivities to pay for, as well as household bills. If budget allows, a Christmas reward with a personal thank you from a manager, or even better the CEO, is sure to keep employees driven right to the end of the year.

4. Launch new campaigns and benefits the first week in January

We’ve all been there arriving back at work after the Christmas break feeling a little glum as the festivities are over. It’s a tough time to motivate. This is exactly why the first week back after the Christmas break is the ideal opportunity to launch new employee campaigns, incentives and benefits. It’ll give employees a boost and something to strive towards. Recognition campaigns should never last a short while, however launching a mini-recognition campaign that incentivises staff to work hard in January works very well. Set a target for the end of January with an exciting reward at the end of it, such as a team night out. It’ll generate an instant buzz in the office and start employees on the path to achieving great things in 2018.

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