14 HR Experts Reveal Their Secrets To Keeping Employees Motivated During The Holidays

The holiday season is the most joyful time of the year. Keeping your employees motivated and productive during the holiday season is a tricky task. The pull of family and the impending holiday shopping can lead to low productivity and distractions among employees.

As an employer/manager, you have to join in on the excitement of the holiday season but also keep everyone motivated to work during the peak season. As an employer, you need to think from the employee's perspective as well. It is essential to remember that the holiday season can be stressful for your employees, and striking a personal-professional balance is tricky. Hence, it becomes extremely important on your part to do your best to boost their morale during the festive season.

You need to create a warm and welcoming setting at work. Encourage your employees to socialise and enjoy the season amongst their co-workers. When you make an effort to turn the workplace into a positive and fun space, employees will appreciate the effort and the positivity, which will motivate them to work without losing their holiday spirit.

The holiday season is fast approaching, so to help you get the most out of the peak season, we gathered valuable secrets from 14 HR experts to keep your employees happy and motivated during the holiday season.

1. J.T. O'Donnell

J.T. O'Donnell

About J.T.: J.T. is passionate about helping employees gain more out of their careers. With almost two decades of experience in the development of professional HR tools and resources, she has delivered 200+ presentations to more than 10,000 professionals on a wide variety of career topics.

Here's what she has to say:

“During the holiday season, I like to surprise my team with unplanned “time outs”. I assemble everyone together in the middle of the day to take a little break to chat, go for a walk, grab a coffee, etc. By breaking the routine and bonding a bit, we talk about our lives outside of work and come closer to each other. It also helps us all to go to back to work with a refreshed and happy mindset.

It is my way of showing that as a leader, I care about them and understand everyone needs a timeout to get re-energized during stressful times.”

Follow: https://www.workitdaily.com/blog/

Find her here :

2. Ben Eubanks


About Ben: Ben has been blogging since 2009 and enjoys training in HR and writing. He currently runs a business which focuses on helping HR technology vendors and service companies understand how to connect with the HR audience.

Here's what he has to say:

“The best way to keep employees motivated during the holidays is to remember that they have a life outside the workplace. By supporting employee's needs at home, you can ensure that they will bring their best self to work every day. In practical terms, I have seen managers write short stories to spouses or parents of employees thanking them for their support. I have also seen employers that try to create family experiences to make workers feel more engaged. For instance, offering a painting class for an employee to bring a child, friend, or significant other can create lasting memories. The important part is to be intentional-great workplaces do not happen without effort and attention!”

Follow: http://upstarthr.com/

Find him here :

3. Paula Alexandra Clapon


About Paula: Paula has a passion for life and the pursuit of happiness. She loves to inspire employees through her blogs.

Here's what she has to say:

“Planning is a big part of the final months of the year. Even though it is the holiday season, many employees have a lot of things going on trying to wrap this year and plan for the following one. Transparency and clarity in planning are the keys to employee engagement that can make the season run smoothly. When employees are involved in the company's strategic planning operations, they will be committed to do their best and be efficient so that they can perform well both in the workplace and at home for the holidays.”

Follow: http://gethppy.com/

Find her here :

4. Suzanne Lucas


About Suzanne: Suzanne is an enthusiastic HR manager who wants to demystify the image of human resource department that people usually have.

Here's what she has to say:

“Give everyone a shopping day. This is a free, paid day off, in addition to their current PTO bank. Everyone loves it.”

Follow: http://evilhrlady.org/

Find her here :

5. Natasha Hawker


About Natasha: Natasha is an expert in employment relations, recruitment, performance management, terminations, and mediation. Natasha is a sought-after speaker and has a proven track record of educating and engaging audiences both small and large.

Here's what she has to say:

Casual dress code days

A program of fun events that align with the holiday season – it might be to bring in a Christmas cake to share or having a mulled wine night.

Play music in the office such as Christmas carols.

Give people a half day of additional leave as a Christmas shopping afternoon.

Encourage other religion or cultures to share something from their culture.

Draw a name out of a hat and write them a card sharing something that they do or an attribute they admire.

Follow: http://employeematters.com.au/

Find her here :

6. Norberts Erts


About Norberts: Norberts is a protagonist of marketing, HR generalist, fitness freak, and a hopeless foodie. He likes to keep a sharp eye on international news, politics, business, finance, science technology and the connections between them.

Here's what he has to say:

“Sometimes offices can be incredibly distracting and demotivating places. Give your people some extra freedom during the holiday season, let them work casually. It has proven to improve their productivity and satisfaction, too.”

Follow: http://blog.cake.hr/

Find him here :

7. Dave Rietsema


About Dave: Dave is an experienced and dedicated long-term HR professional. He has worked as an HR generalist and HR manager for several years in various industries. His major aim is to help other HR professionals like himself through his blogs.

Here's what he has to say:

“You need to exercise compassion in all HR functions. The holidays are a joyous but stressful time for your employees. Most employees have events and familial obligations that come into play around the holidays, which can disrupt the work to life balance scales. Exercising compassion when scheduling, reviewing time off requests, and even when providing feedback can help to keep motivation levels high.”

Follow: http://hrpayrollsystems.net/hrblog/

Find him here :

8. Lisa Hammond


About Lisa: Lisa is an experienced and respected HR consultant. She has experience across all industries and types of organisations as well as all approaches to HR practice.

Here's what she has to say:

“My top tip to keep employees motivated during the holiday season is to encourage employees to genuinely “Turn Off” during periods of organised leave.

To ensure that your employees come back refreshed and ready to take on the new year or quarter ahead, allow them to spend some time with family, lay on a beach by the pool with a cocktail in hand, go travelling or complete those home renovations without distraction of being concerned about what may, or may not be, be happening in the workplace.

It is critical to put work aside for some time and recharge the batteries, but it is critical that employees provide clear handovers and set expectations so that things do not slip through the cracks in their absence, and that colleagues are available and happy to take on additional work during this period of leave, knowing this gesture will be replicated for them in future.”

Follow: http://thenextstep.com.au/

Find her here :

9. Amanda King


About Amanda: Amanda provides human resources management, compliance and recruiting strategies for many clients. She has experience in dealing with multi-national corporations, which taught her the importance of balancing the needs of management and employees through open lines of communication, education and a willingness to evolve.

Here's what she has to say:

“One of the tips I would give employers is to keep employees engaged during the holidays to increase communication. Employees do not always understand why production schedules increase during this time or what's in it for them to work overtime when they would rather be with their family. Talking to employees about how their extra efforts will benefit them directly will give the company better results and a stronger commitment from their teams. Often the company's focus is “ If you work more, the company is more successful.” Instead, phrase it in the employee's perspective. “If you work more during this period you will receive these benefits: more money for holiday expenses; more job security for your position at the company; opportunity for future work with even more customers.

And another tip – I am a big fan of free lunches! Employees appreciate when there are treats for breakfast or for lunch. Snacks or an extra long break time here and there can go a long way for making people feel appreciated during a time when their focus might be more on family, time off, and shopping, than on achieving the year and end numbers for the company. Companies can do those little things in the final six weeks of the year in lieu of an expensive holiday party or extra days off for team members.”

Follow: http://operamhr.com/blog/

Find her here :

10. Jaime Klein


About Jaime: Jaime's aim is to help companies of all sizes hire, train and retain top talent while meeting the full spectrum of their HR needs. She knows that great companies need the right HR infrastructure to thrive and that is why she works hard to create HR plans that are custom-fit for any company.

Here's what she has to say:

“To keep employees motivated during the holiday season, remind them how much their contributions impact the bottom line and customer satisfaction.”

Follow: http://inspirehumanresources.com/blog/

Find her here :

11. Aditya Mishra


About Aditya: Aditya has over 2 decades of experience, during these years Aditya has led some of the largest recruitment agency's assignments in India, spread across the industry verticals of Engineering, consumer products, financial services, IT and outsourcing. He has been a commentator on employment and HR subjects in the national media and several other industry platforms.

Here's what he has to say:

“I believe that holidays are important for one's effectiveness at work. Your employees are not machines, they are human beings. The worker is a human and has his or her personal needs of ideating, creating and experimenting with the personal life if not for the life at work. One needs the space and time for this, which is why holidays are important. Holidays and vacations are critical for the success of an individual as well as the employer's organisation.”

Follow: http://cielhr.com/blog/

Find him here :

12. Matt Charney


About Matt: Matt is an expert in providing go-to-market strategy, messaging pipeline acceleration, lead generation, content marketing services, and industry intelligence for high-tech, VC backed startups specialising in recruiting, hiring or human capital management.

Here's what he has to say:

"Remember that the #1 engagement driver for workers is flexibility, and during a season that is all about being with friends and family, do not make them spend more time in the office than necessary. If they get the work done, where they do it should not matter – and this is never truer than over the holidays. Unless of course, you work in retail or a similar industry- then you might want to think about seasonal bonuses or paying time and a half. The less employees have to worry about the extra expenses associated with the holidays, the more they can worry about doing the best job possible."

Follow: http://mattcharney.com/

Find him here :

13. Abhijit Bhaduri


About Abhijit: Abhijit is a talent management and leadership coach to senior business leaders. He advises organisations on talent development and strategy. He has been known for his innovative approaches in creating a learning culture and improving business outcomes through talent management initiatives.

Here's what he has to say:

"Give them a full subscription to a music streaming site. The music will remind them of the gesture long after the holidays are over."

Follow: http://abhijitbhaduri.com/

Find him here :

14. Jay Kuhns


About Jay: Jay is a long time hospital human resources executive in for-profit and non-profit settings. Whether he is delivering keynote addresses, blogging, podcasting, using multiple social channels, or developing content-rich talent strategies, Jay has proven that his risk-taking approach delivers results.

Here's what he has to say:

“My top tip is not only for the holiday season, it is an essential responsibility of leadership. Spend time with your team members, do rounding, go to them, ask questions and let them “teach” you about their jobs. The fallacy of an open-door policy is laughable! That open door is for leaders to get out of their offices and connect with people!”

Follow: http://jaykuhns.com/

Find him here :

The holiday season may be on its way, but there are long, long weeks ahead. These tips will help you keep your employees happy and motivated during the holiday season. Find ways to reduce the stress at work by undertaking team building activities. Always focus on their achievements and make sure that you take time to really celebrate all of their efforts and hard work.

If you have any more suggestions or tips for keeping employees motivated, feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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