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McKenzie Stephens
Solutions Strategist
December 5, 2015

How to Keep Employees Engaged During the Holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, often highly anticipated by your employees. Many of them schedule time off to enjoy with families, or leave town for a few days to recharge and enjoy the season. On top of personal time, there are holiday parties and events that keep everyone busy. With so much going on, the holidays can distract even the most engaged employee during the workday.

For employers, disengaged employees and a surplus of time-off requests can make for a challenging time. But with some thoughtful planning the holidays can be an ideal time to connect with your employees. Here are some tips to reignite your employees’ motivation and keep them engaged during the holidays.


Give Personalized RecognitionEmployee recognition is a powerful motivator year round, but is an especially valuable tool for employers during the holiday season. Personalized recognition like a hand-written thank you card can be an effective incentive. Focus on your employees’ successes over the past year and how they have grown professionally within the company. This personalized recognition can strengthen the connection between you, your company, and the employee during a time when stress is high and thoughts of gratitude are top of mind.

A small gift is always a winner, particularly when it reflects recognition of the individual. A gift card for a unique shop, new local restaurant, or a retailer that offers a wide assortment of options tells your employee that you’re focused on providing special recognition tailored particularly to them.

Offer Treats of AppreciationFood can be a surprisingly valuable way of showing appreciation, and the holidays are the perfect time of year to leverage this for employee engagement. Something as simple as fresh fruit, muffins and coffee in the weeks leading up to the end of the year can help employees feel valued and is one more way to add holiday cheer to the office. A catered lunch is another gesture that employees appreciate during the holiday season.

Share the Giving SpiritThis time of year leads many to reflect on their own good fortune and how they might give to others. Make fulfilling that generous spirit a reality with a volunteer day that allows employees a period of flex time to go out and do some good. Perhaps you’d prefer to organize a company-wide effort. All about the bottom-line doesn’t necessarily mean all-business; sometimes it’s those intangible, meaningful moments that build your culture and the connection to your staff.

Allow Flexible Holiday HoursSometimes the best gift that a company can give to employees is a little more time in the day. Offering flexible work hours, or allowing some defined time during the business day to shop or run errands, can help alleviate some of the scheduling conflicts and stress that occur during the holidays. Make sure expectations are clear when you make the offer, and your company’s gift of time might just be the most appreciated and valuable thing your employees receive all year. It can help boost employee moods and forge an even stronger bond between employees and the company.

Hold a party!Tis the season for holiday parties, after all. This is a unifying opportunity for employees to enjoy one another’s company. If your employees are especially busy meeting year-end goals, consider holding a wrapping party instead of the typical holiday party. Provide festive wrapping materials and a few refreshments so employees can enjoy a productive afternoon with co-workers while crossing off a big to-do from home—wrapping the family gifts.

Would you like to learn more about how employee engagement can help your organization reach its business goals? Contact a Marketing Innovators solutions expert today., “9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated and Productive During the Holidays,” Jennifer Lonoff Shiff, December 2, 2014. (infographic).

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