Keeping Your Team Motivated During the Holiday Season

Posted: Dec 20  |  By: Trey Gunn

Innovative Ways to Keep Your Team Motivated During the Holiday Season

Ah, the holiday season. The time of year when your team is completely and utterly focused on everything except their day jobs. The shopping and to-do lists are miles long. The kids are out of school. The sheer number of events to attend can be a massive stressor on its own. And don’t forget about the litany of sports to watch with football hitting the post-season and basketball and hockey kicking into gear. Your team is counting the hours until the start of their PTO and holiday time.

But, they’ve still got to remember to put the new coversheets on their TPS reports. That’d be great.

So what on Earth do you do to keep them performing at their best? Here are some creative ways to go about it.

Create Competition

Find measurable metrics that apply to your team and start a competition during the month of December. For instance, with a sales force, whoever brings in the biggest number of new clients or new sales wins. Or, with accountants or attorneys, perhaps whomever has the highest realization or billings during the period wins. Get a great prize for the winner (or winners, if you do multiple categories) and give out the goodies at the holiday party.

Surprise Your Team

One day during the holidays, surprise your team with an afternoon off to get their holiday shopping done. Sweeten the pot by doing this on the day you give them their holiday bonuses. Yes, this may sacrifice a few hours of productivity in the short term, but it will help productivity thereafter, since they will have had an unexpected opportunity to knock something off their to-do lists.

Show Your Team They Matter

Too often, motivators tend to be seen as monetary. Just as meaningful to some team members, however, would be a handwritten card simply thanking them for all they do and, perhaps, providing some positive encouragement. Aside from building up morale, this can strengthen the relationship between you and your team, motivating them to work harder for you.

Bring in Lunch

This is a great way to keep the team focused at any time of year, but it’s especially strategic during the holidays. Bringing in lunch helps soften the financial blow of the holiday season on your staff and keeps them closer to their desks to get some extra work done. Plus, you get to burn through some of that excess budget before year-end.

Get a Professional Team Holiday Photo

Bring in a professional photographer—perhaps on one of those days you bring in lunch—and get the team together for a great photo. This can address several things. First, with a great photographer, this can actually be pretty fun. You can make it even more interesting by incorporating an ugly sweater competition or similar component. Second, particularly when there are a lot of team members, it can be a bit of a team building exercise. Third, it’s likely you have team members for whom the holidays can be difficult. This creates a tangible image for them to know that they have a team and support around them. This is another one of those times when you give up productivity for an hour to get it back a little later with a happier workforce. It can be extremely effective.

Of course, in approaching year-end, it’s a great time to double check and make sure that you’re taking care of your team with competitive compensation as part of year-end planning. Not sure if you are? Check out our 2017 Salary Guide to see how your competitors are compensating their teams.