‘Tis the season for more than just decking the halls and untangling strands of festive lights. While holiday parties and ugly sweaters undoubtedly have their place, there’s another crucial item on your year-end checklist: checking in with your team. 

As we draw this year to a close, please please please, keep in mind, it’s not just about trimming the tree but also nurturing the roots of your team’s morale. 

Addressing employee morale is particularly crucial at the end of the year – the holiday season can bring both joy and stress, with employees navigating work, personal, and family-related challenges. In some organizations stressors come at the end of the year when work gets heavier and folks need to be sharp to close out the year. In other organizations things get quiet and team members can become even more disengaged and unproductive.

With the year concluding, employees naturally reflect on their achievements and set goals for the upcoming year. This is the best time to acknowledge and appreciate efforts and set the tone for the coming year. It is an amazing opportunity to  recognize hard work and contributions and build a sense of value and job satisfaction.

Boosting morale at this time of year involves a combination of recognizing the challenges employees may be facing, celebrating accomplishments, and fostering a positive and supportive work environment. 

Here are some easy and inexpensive strategies to boost morale during the holiday season:

Express Appreciation:

Take the time to express gratitude for your team’s hard work and contributions now and throughout the year. Personalized notes, emails, or even a mention in a meeting can go a long way in making employees feel valued. Consider how you can let your appreciation be known!

Celebrate Achievements:

Reflect on and celebrate the team’s achievements and milestones. This can be done through a year-end review, acknowledging individual and collective successes, and expressing optimism for the future. I have facilitated many events helping groups acknowledge and celebrate the year’s accomplishments – it’s unbelievably fulfilling for everyone involved!

Holiday Decorations and Activities:

Create a festive and enjoyable work environment by decorating the office or organizing holiday-themed activities. This can add a sense of camaraderie and make the workplace more enjoyable. If not now, when?

Plan Team Building Events:

Plan team-building events or activities to strengthen relationships and foster a positive team spirit. This can include holiday-themed events, games, or collaborative projects. I work with many teams at this time of year looking to gather virtually or in-person to play! One of my favorites from last year was a virtual holiday theme bar competition….

Clear Communication:

Keep communication channels open and transparent. Share updates about the organization’s performance, future plans, and any changes that might be on the horizon. Clarity can reduce uncertainty and anxiety.

Employee Assistance Programs:

Provide information about employee assistance programs or resources that can support well-being, especially during a time that may be stressful for some.

Encourage Time Off or allow more Flexible Schedules:

Encourage employees to take time off to recharge. The holiday season can be busy, and some employees may hesitate to use their vacation days. Promote a healthy work-life balance by emphasizing the importance of taking breaks.

Another easy morale booster is to offer flexible work schedules or remote work options if possible. This can be especially helpful during the holiday season when employees may have personal commitments.

Surprise and Delight:

Implement small surprises or gestures to spread joy. This could be as simple as providing holiday treats, organizing a surprise celebration, or incorporating fun holiday elements into day-to-day activities.

Remember, the key is to be sincere in your efforts to support and uplift your team. By combining appreciation, celebration, and a positive work environment, you can significantly boost morale during the holiday season.

Now to action – grab a cup of cocoa, put on your virtual Santa hat, and unwrap the secrets to keeping spirits high as we navigate through the jingling bells and year-end spreadsheets. As a leader, you can boost morale and set a positive tone for the new year, and contribute to a culture of appreciation which will prevent burnout, enhance productivity, and promote the retention of talented employees.

Need help? connect with me at connect@engagingplay.com!

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