While productivity may start to slow down leading up to Christmas, now is an excellent opportunity to invest in improving employee relations.
Engagement Equals Retention
Let’s be honest: job satisfaction comes into the spotlight every December. Engagement sits at the forefront of an employee’s mind when they consider yet another year within their current organisation. If the past year left them feeling unappreciated and undervalued, they might look for another job in the new year.
Improving employee engagement should hardly be an annual affair. Done right, day-to-day policies ensure staff loyalty and retention. However, as the holidays are often a time of reflection and introspection, giving the relationship you share with your organisation’s internal stakeholders a little boost can mean the difference between a workforce that’s motivated to give their best and one that’s content to just coast on through.
Holding a Christmas Party
Christmas parties are practically a corporate tradition in this day and age, yet they fulfil a function that goes beyond the superficial. Bringing the “party” experience – decorations, gifts and food – is a way for the organisation to convey their thanks for all the hard work rendered throughout the year and to celebrate the fruits of their labour. Making such experiences a mainstay in your company’s culture also plays a strong role in shaping its profile as an employer of choice.
Giving Rewards and Recognition
There will be notable individuals who have performed exceptionally well, and such effort deserves to be highlighted. Beyond the concept of fairness, this also shows the rest of your employees that hard work never goes unnoticed. While this public recognition of success is important, the manner of which it’s carried out needs to be planned properly. Consider the communication process and prioritise consistency from the top down. At the same time, conduct informal research on the type of rewards that would be most appreciated by the recipient(s). Individualising your rewards programme will make for a much more authentic and genuine atmosphere.
Practicing Cultural and Social Inclusivity
Not everyone in the workplace subscribes to Christian beliefs or even the Western practice of celebrating Christmas. There might also be those whose personal experiences have left them with a less than favourable perception of the holiday. While may be important to make the Christmas party as festive as possible, this can alienate some people. You don’t need to dilute the theme of the festivities, but you can create a more inclusive environment by providing a neutral space for such individuals to occupy. Examples include incorporating acts of service (eg charity or corporate social responsibility initiatives) into your Christmas programme or adding a little narrative segment (like a small play) to your office party to outline the history and significance of Christmas.
Envision the Year Ahead
No one’s asking you to hold a mandatory board meeting, but sharing your vision and expectations for the organisation in the coming year can be a source of inspiration for your employees. After all, no one wants to work for a company that’s just wandering aimlessly. Defining clear and measurable goals also presents a target for your employees to work towards. Take this opportunity to outline your engagement strategy – this will motivate them to start next year with a positive mindset.
The key to any business strategy is maintaining a strong momentum, and Christmas is the time when everything culminates in one final hurrah for the year. Christmas is also the time to come together, so use it as an opportunity to keep engagement high by letting your employees know that they matter and are more than just members of a faceless workforce.
Happy Holidays from everyone at WellteQ!