5 festive ways to boost employee engagement

With Christmas just around the corner, now is a great time to start planning some festive employee engagement ideas!

Why is employee engagement important? Because, at the top level, there’s an undeniable correlation between employee engagement levels and corporate success. Firstly, engaged staff outperform disengaged staff by nearly 30% (The Conference Board, 2006) whilst businesses with higher engagement deliver 9% higher shareholder returns (Towers Watson, 2009).

Engaged staff are more productive, over 50% more productive in fact according to some studies, and will go the extra mile for the company they work for. They work harder and a more motivated, and in particular with customer facing roles around the Christmas time, high staff engagement will also provide a boost to the level of customer care.

So, we know employee engagement is important, but how can you deliver an engagement boost across your workforce around Christmas?

Here are five festive ways to boost your employee engagement levels.

1. Assign a Christmas mentor

One way to boost employee engagement is to encourage senior members of the team to help junior staff.

In a busy world of retail for example, this is a great strategy to put in place right before Christmas and stores reach their busiest period of the year. For new and younger employees, they’ll feel the support of having a friendly mentor who can help them with any issues they come across and keep them motivated when things get busy.

For more senior members of staff placed in the mentoring role, this strategy can have a real motivational effect as well by empowering them to support other staff members and take on a leadership role.

2. Get employees involved with corporate Christmas marketing strategy

One of the most motivational factors for staff is feeling that their opinion matters and they’re having a say in the overall success of a company. Small steps like inviting ideas (and delivering on some of them) will certainly help motivate and engage.

Sending out funny Christmas cards? Ask your staff to put forward some jokes that can be included.
Maybe you can a quick meeting with employees and see what social media ideas they may have for over the Christmas period too.

3. Clarify goals and highlight rewards

Setting clear goals and objectives is a well used and recognised technique to motivate and engage staff, and the same is true as we enter the last throws of the year.

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Rewards don’t have to monetary. Let your staff know what work needs to be done and what needs to be achieved before the the Christmas break. Be sure to set a clear pathway to achieving these goals and ensure there is a positive reward at the end. Leaving work early on the last day, a team meal out paid for by the company, drinks in the office the Friday after the goals are met. The list of possible non-monetary awards goes on.

4. Simple employee recognition

Often overlooked by overworked HR managers trying to figure out which staff members are owed what holiday from their annual entitlement, actually recognising individual staff members and employee groups is one of the most powerful motivational strategies available.

You can start by inviting employees to positive appraisals of the work carried out that year and what achievements have been accomplished. Employee recognition doesn’t even have to be that formal. Even in passing or by sitting next to an employee at their desk for two minutes, simply highlight that you appreciate something that staff member did and let them know how it contributed to a positive outcome for the company.

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This task can also be passed on to team leaders too. Employee recognition can often be best served and have the most positive effect when dished out by team leaders who work closely with staff members.

5. Celebrate your staff

Your people are what make your business great. Why wouldn’t you celebrate them? And there’s no better time to hand out some awards than at Christmas.

It doesn’t have to be shiny trophies, they don’t even have to be serious awards – it’s any form of staff celebration, from individual to teams and groups that will further aid employee engagement. For smaller companies with a close-knit team, why not set a list of joke awards and get other members of staff to vote?

Some ideas could include:

  • The successfully sneaks in five minutes late Award
  • The always wearing a creased shirt Award
  • The longest in the bathroom Award
  • The most frequent application of deodorant Award
  • The loudest hummer Award
  • The always tapping their foot Award

You get the picture.

Tailor it to your staff and try and ensure there’s one category that each employee could win so everyone feels like they’ve ‘won’. Laughter is extremely motivational and bonds teams together, so end your year with a little extra festive cheer.