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Maintaining employee engagement over the holidays

December 1, 2018

By Mary Corrado, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Keeping employees engaged from Thanksgiving through the new year can be difficult.  Many employees are utilizing remaining vacation time.  In addition, while some employees’ workloads increase, others decrease.  It can be a challenging time.
With some emphasis on employee recognition and a little planning, managers can make it a lot more bearable to be at the office during a time period when people are so busy and want to be with their families.

Taken from a list I found on, the below tips can help employers maintain employee engagement during the busy holiday season:

1.      Consider Employee Preferences – Work-life balance is a challenge that becomes even more difficult for employees during the holidays.  Considering each employee’s working preferences and being open to flex schedules and remote working can help your employees maintain this balance.

2.      Communicate Year-End Goals and Plans for Holidays – Healthline research found that 62% of people feel very stressful or somewhat stressful during the holidays.  Make sure any year-end goals are communicated to staff in efficient time to not add even more stress during the holidays.

3.      Plan Inclusive Social Activities – This is a good time of year to plan some fun social activities or team building events.  Ideas include social events or service projects such as feeding Thanksgiving meals to the homeless.  When employees can contribute and give back, they feel a sense of appreciation.

4.      Recognize the Holidays and Create a Festive Atmosphere – Encourage office decorations and plan luncheons or other fun activities to keep the moods lifted during this stressful time.  ASE’s Fun Committee does a great job with this. They have planned a tree trimming, secret Santa exchange, holiday luncheon, ASE recipe exchange, and a holiday cookie exchange.  There is no shortage of fun and festivity at ASE.  As a side note, the ASE 2019 Holiday Schedule and Practices Survey shows that 74% of Michigan organizations plan to have a holiday party.

5.      Give Rewards and Recognition – While employee recognition should not only occur the last two months of the year.  Thanksgiving is a good time to give a little extra recognition and encourage all staff to show their appreciation for each other.  One great idea is to create an appreciation board and have employees write messages of appreciation.  Some organizations give employees holiday gifts as a token of appreciation for employees’ hard work throughout the year.  According to ASE’s 2019 Holiday Schedule and Practices Survey, 31% of Michigan employers plan to give employees a gift for the holiday season.

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