Are Holiday Blues Weighing Down Engagement?

Dec 10 , 2015
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4 Tips to Boost Spirits in the Office

How do you feel about working during the holiday season when most of your friends and colleagues have left for vacation or have mentally checked out?

If you find yourself struggling with being engaged at work during the holiday season, you’re not alone. Your whole team might have the same problem, but may continue to show up because they don’t want to use a vacation day.

This presents a challenge for leaders. When you know you can’t grant everyone the time off they want, how do you keep their spirits — and work production — from lagging?

Here are four tips you can learn from other successful leaders and CEOs who are good at keeping their team engaged at work during the holidays.


  1. Reduce Staff on Light Days

    With your clients traveling around the holidays, business can slow down compared to other times of the year. Ask yourself, “Is it really necessary to make your whole team come to the office?” Consider a flexible work schedule and a skeleton staff on lighter days.

    At TTI, we close at noon both on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Instead of requiring everyone to work on these shorter days before the holiday, we take shifts. Half of the office takes off on Christmas Eve and the other half takes off New Year’s Eve. Therefore, we all get a long holiday weekend while still keeping our office open for business.

  2. Allow Remote Working Opportunities 

    Some of your employees have a hard time bouncing between personal life and work. Perhaps they have to pick up kids at 3:30 p.m., or their pet is sick. Imagine their schedule getting busier with all the holiday events. What if they are allowed to work from home on certain days of the week, or even just an afternoon?

    Managers might lose some supervision and control with giving employees more ownership in their own schedule, but they will also build engagement and loyalty. 
  3. Make Time in the Office Fun

    After hours happy hours and potlucks are a nice reward after a long day. Why not move that fun into working hours with an office breakfast? Having a meal together is not a bad way to start the day full of energy.

    The omelette party we recently hosted was one of my favorites. It’s easy to organize, inexpensive to undertake, and everyone can participate by contributing different ingredients or cooking.

  4. Change Locations to Reenergize Stale Meetings

    If you ask your team to use one honest word to describe your routine meetings, what answers would you get? If the answers are "boring" or "unproductive," now is the perfect time to change that impression as you wrap up the year and plan for 2016.

    Go offsite. Head to a local coffee shop, like our marketing team did last week, and let the new environment free everyone’s thoughts. It’s amazing to see how much more constructive and inspiring an otherwise regular meeting can be.


Other than providing a flexible work schedule or bringing more energy to the office, there are a lot more ways managers can boost the happiness and engagement level of employees during the holidays.

For the best results, use 12 Driving Forces™ to understand what motivates team members. Your tailored talent management solutions should feed various employees’ needs, including financial rewards, recognition, vacations or supportive work policies.

Here’s another reason why a workplace engagement strategy is important in December: Most employees will chose to quit after the new year if they are unengaged.

So, don’t miss out on this important time to connect and find opportunities to reward a company’s most valuable asset: the staff.


About the Author

Kefei Wang