The weeks and months leading up to the winter holidays are stressful enough with employees making travel plans, shopping for gifts and cramming to meet deadlines before the holidays arrive. But when financial concerns enter the mix, it’s hard to imagine that your employees are thinking about anything else during their work day. Here are five ways to keep your employees motivated, focused and engaged during the holiday season.

  • Think about your office’s holiday traditions in advance.
    Has your company had particularly successful celebrations in the past? Such as a gag-gift exchange, a lunch at a well-loved restaurant or a bake-off? The winter holiday season is in large part about celebrating traditions. By sending out invitations for the office holiday party ahead of time and making plans for events early on, you create an exciting buzz within an atmosphere of community. Make this a special occasion for your employees to look forward to throughout the upcoming month.
  • Lead by example.
    Money can’t buy happiness but it does buy gifts. Employees might feel the pressure to spend lavishly on coworkers and supervisors, but you can head off this extra financial stress before it starts. Make it clear that holiday celebrations in the office are about celebrating the accomplishments achieved throughout the year – not about how much money was spent on that novelty desk calendar.
  • A little office cheer can go a long way.
    The winter months can leave employees feeling antsy, restless, and unfocused. By decorating and bringing in office treats, employees can shake off the malaise and make a final push before any upcoming time out of the office. Holding desk-decorating contests, cookie tasting events or ugly-sweater days can be a fun way to break up the day and channel some of that extra holiday excitement.
  • Be flexible.
    Realistically, you will have employees who are either planning to travel, receive guests or both during the holiday season. Either way, they will have preparations to make in order to ready themselves and their families. Be flexible with employees’ time off. Encourage your team to communicate their plans well in advance so that you have a clear picture of everyone’s availability, to ensure that work is accounted for and projects continue as needed, even when your office is at half capacity.
  • Get your employees a gift that keeps on giving.
    Rather than giving employees another company mug, think of increasing employee benefits packages – specifically ones that include financial wellness services – this can help your employees combat debt, increase savings, and make sound financial decisions for their futures. Financial health is integral to employee well-being and by investing in your employees, you will be investing in your company. Strength in financial security affects employee productivity and overall company retention, year-round. That gift that keeps on giving will not only surprise your employees, but the long- term rewards just may surprise you as well.