Best Ways to Boost Employee Productivity During the Holiday Season

Check out the 10 tips you can use to boost your employees’ productivity during the holidays.

December 21, 2021
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When the holiday season comes around, it's not uncommon for employees to start mentally checking out work early. However, it can be challenging to concentrate on looking forward to all the fun times ahead and the personal tasks they need to do.

But it's possible to maintain productivity even during the holiday season. Here, we'll give you ten tips that you can use to boost your employees' productivity during the holidays.

10 Strategies To Boost Employee Productivity Over The Holidays
1. Offer Flexible Work Schedules

Despite all the magic in the air, the holidays can be stressful, and that stress can interfere with work. 

To help your employees manage the season, you can offer flexible work schedules. For example, you could consider implementing rotating shifts to help distribute the brunt of undesirable shifts, or you could introduce split shifts to give your employees a chance to get some holiday shopping and planning done in between their work shifts. 

You can use employee scheduling software to make scheduling your employees more manageable and streamlined during the holiday season. 

2. Set Clear Goals and Expectations

It can be challenging for employees to stay productive when they don't have a good way of measuring their productivity in the first place. By setting clear goals and expectations, you provide your employees with benchmarks that they can check themselves against to see how efficient they're more easily.

For example, you could set new holiday quotas for your sales team or set a goal to hit a certain number of page views for your content team. This way, your team members will be able to easily see whether their work is where it's supposed to be or not.

3. Provide Better Training

The holiday season can introduce unique situations for managers and employees. For example, between increased order volume and potentially longer hours, your team members can benefit from being trained to meet these new challenges.

In short, employees can often use some extra help to cope with the busiest time of the year. Employee training can include stress management exercises, instructions on handling angry customers, and techniques to deal with the massive amount of orders that may be coming in.

4. Have a Plan in Place for Understaffing

As business picks up over the holiday season, understaffing is always a concern. But this year, as the Great Resignation leaves many small businesses severely understaffed even in the slower parts of the year, having enough staff on hand to brave the season is perhaps more of an issue than ever.

Unfortunately, there's no easy solution to understaffing (if there were, the current labor shortage would not be a problem). However, you can do your best to mitigate adverse outcomes by having a solid hiring plan in place and building a solid team. Moreover, you can also offer bonuses and higher wages, hire contractors, and allow employees to work overtime.

5. Provide Regular Feedback and Recognition

Employee productivity often comes down to how engaged in their work they are. If employees find their work exciting and rewarding, they'll be more productive. If they find it boring and meaningless, they'll mentally check out.

Offering regular feedback and recognition can help keep your employees engaged. When they get feedback, they will see new ways to improve their work, becoming an exciting challenge for them.

When they receive recognition, they may feel a sense of encouragement and feel that their work is valuable. One way to show your appreciation is to start an employee of the month program. It can help boost morale, increase productivity and get them engaged more with their job. 

6. Minimize Distractions

The holiday season brings a lot of distractions to the table. In addition to work, employees are likely thinking about holiday travel, what gifts to buy, party planning, and more. This can lead to a very divided mind that has trouble focusing on work.

To combat this, employers can provide action-oriented tasks that require the full attention of their employees, which will keep them motivated. Ideally, these should be complex or involved enough that employees can't help but give them their all. Examples could include debugging the latest version of your code, making a certain number of sales, or reorganizing the showroom. Of course, these tasks should be genuinely helpful, not just busywork. 

7. Accommodate Remote Working

After COVID-19 hit, remote working has been on employees' minds everywhere. At least 55% of employees surveyed in PwC's US Remote Work Survey said they'd prefer to work remotely at least three days per week. If your company can offer remote work options, doing so is a great way to help your employees navigate the tricky work-life balance during the holidays. For example, remote working options will let employees travel to their families for extended trips without taking off work, reducing understaffing issues. 

8. Give a Holiday Bonus

Few things say "thank you" as cash does. If you want your employees to stay engaged and productive over the holiday season, consider building a strong culture where you reward them by giving them a holiday bonus to thank them for their continued work and loyalty. 

This gesture can go a long way as employees are more likely to work hard to support a company they feel values them. 

9. Throw a Holiday Party

The holidays can be a very stressful time. Hosting a holiday party can give your employees a chance to blow off steam and form deeper connections with their coworkers.

Overall, a holiday party can help employees form more positive associations with their workplace (so long as it isn't mandatory). Plus, it can help them recharge their batteries and give them something to look forward to as they weather the storm that is the holidays.

10. Create a Festive Atmosphere

Hardly anyone wants their workplace to be a place where the holiday spirit goes to die — unless they're Ebenezer Scrooge, that is. When holiday decorations are all around, it's a good idea to make sure that holiday magic comes into your workplace too. It's a worthwhile investment to buy some lights and other decorations to make your business a bit more festive — make sure you're not entirely focused on one culture and are inclusive of all.

Key Takeaways

The holidays are one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year, both from a business and personal. As a result, employees can quickly become scatterbrained, and productivity can diminish. 

By implementing the strategies above, you can improve your employee's productivity even over the holiday season. 

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