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Maintaining Employee Engagement Over the Holidays
Maintaining employee engagement over the holidays is a struggle for most companies. With staff members taking more vacations, the added workload of covering for those who are absent, and the personal stress that comes with this time of year, holiday disruptions can ripple through the organization. There are also many other stressors that can affect employees at this time of year. These include:
- Concerns over financial issues
- Family stress
- Relationship issues
- Poor sleep habits
- Exhaustion or feeling overwhelmed
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Excessive alcohol intake
The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce employee stress and keep them engaged during the festive season.
How you Can Support Your Team During the Holiday Season
As an HR leader, one of the most important things you can do for your team at this time of year is to let them know that your door is always open. Sometimes an employee just needs someone to talk to. If this is the case, just a few minutes of your time could prevent friction between employees and unwanted absenteeism. A preemptive measure you can take is to talk to employees before the holiday season begins and find out any ways in which you can offer them extra support through this period.
How to Boost Employee Engagement During the Holidays
Here are some pointers to help you keep your workforce focused and happy throughout the holidays.
Be Festive and Show Excitement About the Holidays
This is a great time of year to strengthen the bonds between your staff and your employees and between employees themselves. Make this an inclusive and exciting period by planning staff parties or dinners, decorating the staff room and keeping employees engaged about the season. You can also use this time to create fun team-building exercises and encourage employees to socialize together.
Be Flexible With Employee Preferences
It’s pretty obvious that you can’t simply close down your whole operation until the holidays are over. However, try to be as flexible as you can be when it comes to employee preferences for time off work. Discuss time off before the holiday is upon you. Discuss the possibilities of remote work to give employees more time to spend with their families. This will benefit you in three ways: it shows employees that you care, it will increase customer loyalty and it will help keep employees engaged during the holiday period.
Recognize Your Employees
The end of the work year is drawing closer and a new year is about to dawn. This is a great time to show your appreciation for all the hard work they have put in. Be communicative about recognition for their contributions. This is a great time to give out rewards, such as trophies or gift certificates.
Communicate 2020 Goals with Employees
The end of the year is a perfect time to talk to your team about what you plan for the coming year. It will help them know what to expect and will keep them looking forward to continued success within the company. This will not only help to keep them motivated and engaged, but it will also ensure that there are no unexpected surprises in the new year. A good way to get them enthused about the new year is by offering incentives, such as reward programs and bonuses.
Let Them Know How They’re Performing
And end-of-year assessment is a good way to let your employees know what they’re doing right and where they need to make changes. Routinely monitoring your workers’ performance is beneficial for the company all round. The key here is to make sure that you give meaningful feedback that your employees can take on board and utilize. Your performance review should have three main objectives:
- Goals you have set for a particular employee and his/her job
- Your assessment of whether these goals were met
- The reasons to explain your overall evaluation.
Remember to be honest and realistic when giving your evaluation and to stick to an assessment of the individual’s performance rather than their personality. Be open with communication —successes and issues that came up throughout the time period.
Encourage Employees to Make Resolutions for the Coming Year
Creating resolutions that are realistic can help engage your employees and keep them healthier and stress-free in the new year. Resolutions may include:
- Maintaining a healthier diet
- Getting more exercise
- Creating a better budget for their personal financing
- Finding ways to reduce stress
This will provide them with personal and professional motivation looking forward to the next year. You could also help to encourage employees to stick to their goals by hooking them up with a “resolution buddy,” another employee who is aiming for the same goals. You can also provide them with incentives such as a free gym membership.
Provide Wellness Options for Mental and Physical Health
These can take many options from counseling sessions to healthy workplace snacks. Here are a few other ideas:
- Create fitness challenges
- Provide nutritional information
- Enable access to mental health resources
- Practice stress relief sessions
Employee wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular and by offering your team physical, emotional, and mental support, you can increase loyalty and engagement, and reduce turnaround and absenteeism.
Provide Financial Breaks for Employees
Even if you are a small company or a start-up, there are ways that you could help to provide financial breaks for your employees. For example:
- Offer financial incentives or token rewards when individuals meet or exceed certain goals or expectations.
- Provide holiday bonuses to the hardest performers.
Offer TrueConnect Loans
Another great way to give employees a financial break, at no cost to your company, is by giving them access to a safe loan solution, such as the one offered by TrueConnect. With TrueConnect, employees can make a quick online application for small-dollar loans. No credit check is required, and applicants can find out straight away if they are eligible. All loans have the same fixed interest rate and are paid back with small monthly payroll deductions throughout the year.
This is a great time of year to be offering safe loan solutions to employees because with the holidays coming, many are at an extra financial burden due to increased utility bills, buying presents, and visiting family. TrueConnect loans can ease this burden and at the same time, reduce employee stress and improve engagement and motivation throughout the holiday season.
Contact TrueConnect today to learn more about no-cost safe loans for employees and find out more about how you can keep your employees happy and engaged.