As the year comes to an end and offices close for the festive period, it can be difficult to maintain staff engagement and motivation as most people start to run out steam.

Young happy colleagues having fun while toasting at christmas office picture id864492226

This is particularly evident as UK workers are among the least engaged in the world according to a recent survey from Qualtrics. Employees in the UK recorded average engagement scores of just 45%, only Honk Kong and Singapore scored lower than the UK for workplace engagement.

Christmas can be a particularly stressful time of year, as most businesses are looking ahead to next year and wrapping everything up for the end of the year. Employers also need to shift their focus from future business goals to spreading some Christmas cheer in order to retain their staff into the next year.

Adrian Lewis, Absence Management Expert at Activ Absence says, “Whilst this is a fun time of year, it can also be stressful for managers and HR professionals who may be struggling to keep their teams engaged. People are often distracted by the festive fun or last-minute shopping they need to do.”

Here are 10 tips from Activ Absence to help companies survive the festive season and prepare for the new year:

  • Make the office a fun place to be. Let staff decorate the office to help get them in the Christmas spirit – it can boost employee motivation and engagement
  • It’s the little things that count. Let your staff know they are valued through simple gestures such as saying thank you or through small gestures such as buying some Christmas treats for the office
  • Set the ground rules ahead of the Christmas party so everyone knows what kind of behaviour is expected and can enjoy it without any repercussions
  • If you have a Christmas meal, make sure food choices are inclusive for all staff members
  • Restrict annual leave during the busiest periods so you aren’t short staffed and remind staff about your absence policies to ensure attendance doesn’t slide in December
  • Check company driver licences haven’t expired and remind all staff about drink driving
  • Encourage everyone to bring nibbles in if they have to work over Christmas and New Year
  • Consider granting flexible working if people want time off for deliveries, or allow deliveries at work
  • Set smart goals for staff performance in December and give small prizes for meeting them
  • Set fun plans for the New Year so people come back feeling motivated and inspired