Keeping your employees engaged during the holiday period can seem like a nearly impossible task. With daylight savings, warm weather, Christmas parties and summer holidays to look forward to, work can fall low on the priority list. It is no surprise that productivity can tend to slump somewhere around mid-November. Keeping employees engaged with work is crucial to boosting staff satisfaction and your bottom line.

Why is employee engagement important? 

When employees feel engaged and connected to what they are doing, their job satisfaction increases. Without an interest in the company and the task at hand, productivity will naturally start to slip. To keep your standards up, here are some employee engagement ideas to boost productivity through the Christmas Season:

1. Set reasonable goals and expectations

If you can, try to manage workloads around this time. If you are a manager or business owner, think to yourself: Quality or quantity? Amid day dreaming the beach, holiday planning and online shopping for Christmas gifts, output is likely to be lower. So don’t overload your employees at this time, because you are unlikely to get their usual output.

2. Encourage staff to take their annual leave

Let’s face it, your staff might already be on a mental vacation, so encourage them to take their annual leave in the summer months. For most industries in Australia, December and January are slow anyway. You may want to consider a mandatory office closure period for the 2 week period around Christmas and New Year’s. This allows for staff to have a much needed break and eliminates Christmas period bludging.

3. Remind employees of company policies

In the last few months of the year, people can start to forget the rules. There could be some booze-induced sickies or even some sneaky mid-week beach days. To try to minimise absenteeism before the Christmas break, circulate your company’s leave policy before the holiday season starts so employees know their obligations. Similarly, with office Christmas parties and other events towards the end of the year, it can’t hurt to also review your Drug and Alcohol policy with employees. If you don’t already have one, HRA Cloud, our HRIS system is packed with policies, procedures and workflows that can be downloaded and even distributed through the system to employees.

4. Be flexible

In some cases, the best option is just to roll with it. Allowing flexible hours during the Christmas period saves having your employees just sitting around. Consider letting employees leave a little early on Fridays to squeeze in some last minute Christmas shopping or to kick-start an early weekend.

5. Save performance reviews for after summer

Typically, performance reviews happen right in the middle of summer, in January or early February. If you are struggling with employee engagement during the summer months, consider conducting your performance reviews at the end of summer. This will ensure employees are still working towards something throughout the season.

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