work culture

How to keep your team focused and motivated during the holiday season

Photo of Mikayla Fuller
by   Mikayla Fuller
October 26, 2022

The holidays are a time when work-life balance can be difficult. Kids are on break from school, people are thinking about the gatherings they have to run several errands for, the weather may cut into focus, or even just the pressure of finishing out the year strong can take a toll. High absence is expected and members of your team who are at work may not be fully present with so many other things on their minds. 

As a supervisor, it’s important to motivate and keep your team on track. Keep reading to learn what causes decreased productivity during the holidays and 5 different ways to combat them by engaging your team. 

What causes loss of productivity during the holidays? 

Several different factors can influence loss of productivity at work. Along with the examples listed above, here are a few other reasons why productivity can slow during the holidays. 

  • Added obligations and stress
  • One too many drinks the night before 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Exhaustion/burnout 
  • Life priorities or family
  • Gloomy weather 
  • Rigid schedules that do not accommodate remote work 
  • Seasonal mood changes 

Keeping productivity in flow during the holidays doesn’t have to mean cracking down on your team. With empathy, consider our 5 tips to keep them motivated throughout the end of the year. 

5 tips to motivate your team during the holidays 

1. Plan ahead

Don’t let the holidays creep up on you. Have a meeting with your team to discuss expectations, scheduling, and workflow. If there are any important dates that employees should be in the office, give them as much notice as possible for the sake of planning. This meeting is also a great time to discuss your plan for after the holidays to communicate that work should stay in rolling motion instead of halting. 

No one wants to get stuck doing someone else’s work, especially during the holidays. Proactive communication and strategizing can alleviate any added stress and help your team know what the plan of action is, should something unexpected happen. 

2. Set goals in the short and long term 

Having a goal to accomplish can help employees stay on track and have something to work towards. These goals can also be supplemented with awesome rewards! Goals are perfect for accountability and will help motivate your team to reach their shared target. 

3. Don’t be a scrooge

Be flexible and understanding. The holidays are a season to be grateful and spend time with family, but there are still ways to make the work environment fun and festive too. Consider throwing a white elephant party where everyone wears their ugliest sweater or a potluck on Friday afternoon. 

Themed parties are an excellent way to build rapport and give employees a much-deserved respite. They also reward hard work and allow your team to enjoy the holidays without losing focus.

4. Encourage time off 

Oftentimes, loss of productivity can be caused by fatigue. Accept the earned time off that employees need and deserve. By granting requested time off, it helps to combat burnout - a difficult struggle that almost everyone has faced. 

Prioritizing deserved breaks emphasizes the importance of mental health and well-being, something that can overwhelm many during the holidays. If it’s possible, allow them to work remotely for a few days around the holidays. Everyone will be grateful for it. 

5. Acknowledge what was accomplished during the year

They say when you focus on the good, the good continues. Genuine appreciation goes a long way and there can never be too much recognition for the hard work your team puts in to reach their goals. Most people get satisfaction in a job well done, even if it can be overwhelming or stressful at times. 

There are countless ways to value your team. Of course, you can offer monetary rewards or bonuses, a team dinner, or even uplifting verbal praise. Creating a positive work culture that highlights. 

For more on planning for the holidays, check out our eComerce holiday guide!

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About the author

Photo of Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla is an avid copywriter. If she’s not out on an adventure, you can find her somewhere with a book in hand.