7 Ways to boost employee morale before Christmas

7 Ways to boost employee morale before Christmas

For many, the Christmas holidays are hectic. People need to meet tight deadlines and achieve year-end goals at work while making holiday preparations and buying presents for family and friends. Workplace responsibilities and family obligations go in tandem, which may increase stress and even lead to burnout. 

The good news is that there are simple and proven ways to increase employee morale and beat stress during the busy holiday season, keeping the team motivated and engaged. Use the ideas below to reward your staff for good work, boost their morale, and increase loyalty. 

Why increase employee morale before Christmas? 

High employee morale leads to better productivity and improves the well-being of your employees. Here is why it is essential to improve the morale of your team in the holiday season: 

  • Boost productivity. If you create a positive environment in the workplace and make the staff feel appreciated, it improves the morale and productivity of the team. 
  • Foster teamwork. Employees with high morale tend to be more engaged at work. As a result, they are more open to teamwork and solving customers’ problems, which reflects on the company’s bottom line. 
  • Improve retention. If the company organizes team-building activities, and festive events, and recognizes employee contribution, it helps reduce turnover. People who feel valued and appreciated at work are seven times more likely to stay with their current employer for a year or more. 

How to boost employee morale during the holidays?

Organize a fun Christmas party at the office 

Organizing an office Christmas party is a great way to thank the employees for their hard work and help them bond with each other. Think about the party theme, games and activities, the Christmas dinner, and other celebration elements. 

The options are nearly limitless, from playing Scavenger Hunt and drinking mulled wine in funny sweaters in the office to organizing a Harry Potter-themed party with DIY cosplay, photo booth, and Hogwarts-inspired Christmas dinner. Read our article on organizing a memorable Christmas party in the office for more ideas. 

Host an award ceremony 

Christmas is the time to be grateful, so why not offer recognition and rewards to employees? Award employees who went above and beyond this year and made notable contributions. For example, you can grant such awards as “Employee of the Month”, “Salesperson of the Year”, “Best Team Player”, and similar ones. 

Alternatively, you may not focus on accomplishments and prepare funny certificates or mugs for each employee so that nobody feels left out. Examples: “The Loud Typist”, “Office Bestie”, or “The Most Caffeinated”. Consider hosting an award ceremony and encourage everyone to share funny stories about each other and express gratitude. Such a simple form of recognition will foster a positive atmosphere and help bond the team members. 

Create a flexible work environment 

By allowing the employees to work flexible hours or offering paid leave, you let them address personal priorities before Christmas, such as buying presents for kids or planning a Christmas party with friends. When people have enough time to take care of their plans, they’ll be more focused and productive during working hours. Plus, it will show the employees that you value their contribution and respect their life outside work.  

Here’s what you can offer the team to give them more flexibility: 

  • Flexible schedules and working hours
  • An extra paid or unpaid leave
  • Remote work days. 

Create a festive atmosphere 

Christmas party at the office
Christmas festivities in the office will bring the team together. Image courtesy of Pexels.com.

One of the simplest ways to put everyone in a festive mood and cheer up the team as the holidays approach is to give your office a Christmas vibe. Decorate the office with wreaths and ornaments, organize team-building activities, or take part in the charity event. Engaging in fun holiday activities will bring everyone together and put them in a festive mood. Here are some ideas to create a wonderful Christmas atmosphere in the office: 

  • Office decoration contest – encourage everyone to decorate the workstations, hallways, and other office areas. Let the most creative team win!
  • Holiday-themed activities – organize a Christmas movie night, Scavenger Hunt, gingerbread house decorating contest, or play other Christmas games. Foster a sense of unity among the coworkers. 
  • Give back to the community – consider participating in a local charity initiative, volunteering, or giving away clothes. Or, donate money to a charity project. 

Offer bonuses and employee discounts 

Financial bonuses before Christmas can work wonders on employee morale. The study shows that companies that spend 1% of their payroll on recognition have a 79% higher success rate in achieving their business goals. A holiday bonus will show your appreciation and keep the team motivated for the next year. Plus, employees who feel appreciated and receive regular recognition are more likely to stay with the same employer for the next year. 

In addition to monetary bonuses, you can show appreciation by offering gift cards and employee discounts. Here are some ways to show appreciation and improve employee engagement: 

  • Bonuses for top performers
  • Vouchers or gift cards
  • Office furniture upgrades 
  • Gift cards to restaurants or retailers 
  • Company-branded merchandise
  • Paid spa, fitness, or wellness packages. 

Exchange Christmas presents 

Encourage everyone in the office to exchange festive gifts. It will help the team bond and know each other better, plus everyone will feel the joy of gift-giving. To save on gifts, you can play the classic Secret Santa gift exchange game. Set a budget of $15-25 so that everyone can afford to buy something for a coworker. All players draw names from the hat and then choose a present for the person whose name they got. Each Santa should prepare the present secretly and not reveal their identity until the gift exchange day! 

With our MySanta generator, you can draw names online in seconds. Each player tells what they’d like to get for Christmas and completes a wishlist, which makes choosing the present quick and easy. The game host can track the progress of gifts and ensure that each player buys a gift for a coworker on time. On the gift exchange day, everyone unwraps the present and guesses their Secret Santa, which is accompanied by laughter and fun. 

Online Secret Santa generator
Play Secret Santa at work: set a gift budget, share wishlists, and chat with your Secret Santa anonymously. 

If playing Secret Santa has become a tradition in your office, learn about the ways to play this popular game with a twist

Foster open communication 

Transparent communication is important all year round. During the holiday season, your employees will appreciate it if you communicate the updates in work schedules, company initiatives, and KPIs beforehand. Knowing what is expected of them will help the team minimize stress before holidays and boost morale. 

Try to avoid late-hour emails and last-minute changes, as weeks before Christmas are usually busy. Give the team plenty of time to take care of the personal errands – thus, they will be more engaged in the working hours. Ask for employees’ preferences when it comes to schedules and organizing a Christmas party and activities. 

These simple tips can boost employee morale during the holiday season, reduce their stress levels, and foster engagement and well-being. Most of these tips aren’t costly – giving your coworkers flexibility they need during the festive season and listening to their needs can increase employee loyalty. Moreover, organizing Christmas festivities at work and exchanging presents will help people bond with each other, and they will return to work feeling refreshed and energized.