16th November 2018

Employee Engagement is not just for Christmas

A Christmas employee engagement plan, when used wisely and as part of an ongoing strategy of involving your best assets in the future of your business, can have effects that last well into the new year.

Businesses in the UK often have a complex relationship with this period of festivities, as staff hastily use up annual leave and engage in hangover inducing mid-week socials while simultaneously up against end-of-year targets, head-colds and general weariness. So how do employers boost morale, decrease absenteeism and set up an atmosphere of increased productivity for the new year?

Some opt to throw money at it. Christmas – at least before the BREXIT grinch arrived – has generally been an expensive necessity with UK. Firms pay around £1bn for parties and companies look to try increasingly original ways of celebrating the festive season. For smaller employers, keeping average spend on their employees under £150 is a priority as anything exceeding this becomes a taxable benefit on the employee. So, hiring a carriage on the Northern Line stocked with cocktails bound for Party Central may not be an option for them, and in any case, is it altogether necessary to spend that kind of cash?

The Christmas playlist on in the office, secret santa and, yep, the ubiquitous Christmas jumper competition can really boost engagement across your organisation. Festivities can be low-key and personal, and crucially show you are fulfilling your employees’ needs rather than the other way around. Flexibility – to go to their child’s nativity play, to enjoy a 2 hour spell of Christmas shopping on work time, etc. might be what people really want. A night out can be a great way to encourage team-work of course, with bowling, paintballing or a cocktail masterclass potentially working wonders for your employee engagement. As with everything, giving your staff a say will keep them empowered and invested in the decision-making.

Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to throw a great Christmas party. Just carry on spending some quality time with your staff and you’re sure to see a boost in employee engagement in the new year.

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