How to Keep Employee Engagement High in the Build-up to Christmas

There  can be a change in the workplace atmosphere come December...

Between festive treats and Christmas tunes, there's plenty of things to distract us in December


As the festivities draw nearer, there's plenty of distractions around the workplace whether your employees are working from home or in the office. 

Work is still a priority, but there's also preparations to made, catch-ups with friends, and gift wrapping and last-minute shopping that needs to be done. No manager wants to take the fun out of the season by taking away distractions and discouraging the office frivolities, but how can you strike a balance between productivity and a cheerful work environment?

To help you keep engagement levels high while still indulging in the Christmas spirit, we've got a few essential tips that can help:

plan ahead

Plan your workplace festivities in advance and communicate the schedule to your employees so that they can manage their workloads and participate in the fun without feeling stressed about what's waiting for them when they return to their desks. Here's how:

Keep it inclusive

Don't decide on the Christmas celebrations without bringing your people in on the discussion. When you involve employees in the planning, they'll be more enthusiastic about participating. No one wants the Christmas celebrations to feel like a generic or obligatory initiative that management has undertaken as a box-ticking exercise.  

Give everyone time to prepare

Don't forget that if you're doing Secret Santa or festive dress-up competitions, your employees will need time to get ready, so announce your plans well in advance. 

Make it about your values

Make sure that your company values are incorporated in the Christmas events you put on so that you can use the opportunity to reinforce your positive workplace culture. The celebrations are a chance to offer recognition and reward your team for their hard work. When you dedicate a time and place for this to happen, your people will feel encouraged to keep up the productivity levels, knowing they have something great to look forward to.  

Factor in work-life balance

In the run up to Christmas, the pressure is on to get everything delivered on time, both at home and at work. Why not help your teams by giving them the flexibility of an extended lunch hour or earlier finish times so they can squeeze in all the things they need to do instead of stressing about it during work hours.

embrace  the festivities

The holiday season is all about giving, if you're a multi-cultural team where not everyone celebrates Christmas, there are still plenty of reasons to get in a festive mood. 

With uncertainties around the annual in-person Christmas party again this year, your employees may feel that there's nothing much to look forward to. But you can turn this around by looking at other engaging ideas to help everyone interact with one another. For alternative celebration plans, take a look at some of our socially distanced work Christmas ideas here.

If your team is working remotely, they may be pleasantly surprised to find that Christmas is not cancelled and that you've still created a jolly occasion for colleagues to celebrate together, albeit through Zoom. You could also give your teams an eVoucher or Gift Card so they can treat themselves to something on their Christmas list to help spread a little extra cheet!

Sodexo's Guide to Christmas Gifts and Activities Employee engagement and recognition ideas to keep spirits hight season this  festive season - download your free guide here!

Offer training and support

In the build-up to Christmas, you should find opportunities to give employees shout outs and recognition for the contributions they've made and the goals they've achieved so far.

Understandably, everyone is likely to be looking forward to their last working day before Christmas. But to help keep employee engagement high make sure to recognise everything that has gone well this year and what could be improved in the future. Gather feedback and ask for suggestions on how the business can perform better in the new year. You can then use this to plan some training and upskilling initiatives to help your teams progress, which will keep engagement high into the New Year. 

This year might have impacted your teams' mental health and financial wellbeing, so it could be the time to introduce an Employee Assistance Programme that your people can make the most of.

take  your engagement to the next level:

Making employees feel appreciated and valued will encourage everyone to stay plugged in and motivated in the build-up to Christmas. By celebrating with your team in a way that integrates your company's values, you can keep the focus on work initiatives while still allowing everyone to enjoy the festivities.

If you'd like some more ideas on how you can bring reward and recognition into your organisation this Christmas, speak to one of our experts today

New call-to-action