Five tips to re-motivate staff in the run-up to Christmas

Dark nights, dark mornings, the leaves finally off the trees and weather that’s getting colder by the second. It’s hardly a recipe for jumping out of bed of a morning is it? In fact, there’s medical science behind that tired, sluggish feeling – lack of sunlight means your body produces more of the sleep- inducing hormone melatonin, so it’s no wonder it can be hard to get revved up for work. 

Five tips to re-motivate staff in the run-up to Christmas

Of course there’s a glimmer of hope isn’t there? After all Christmas is but a couple of weeks away now. Surely that’s enough to get excited about?

Sadly even the glimmer of a few days off, opening presents and stuffing faces with turkey and Christmas pudding can fail to raise motivation levels at work. There’s deadlines to meet, family politics to negotiate, expensive food and presents to buy…all of which add stress and extra pressure on employees’ finances.

It’s well known that financial stress impacts motivation levels at the best of times, but throw in the added strains of Christmas and it’s no surprise that motivation levels can hit rock bottom at this time of the year.

Here are five simple tips for improving motivation levels in the run up to Christmas through reward and employee benefits.

1. Show your appreciation to staff with a thank you gesture

One of the best ways to re-motivate staff is simply to show that you are grateful for the job that they do – and to be doubly sure that they realise how important they are to you. Although a heartfelt thank you is always appreciated, actions speak louder than words, so make sure you think about memorable Christmas rewards – whether that’s the best office do yet or a personalised present that will show individual employees how much you value their contribution to the business.

 2. Allow greater flexibility to help with the added pressure on time

When you’re feeling demotivated it’s hard enough to get the day-to-day jobs done, let alone fit in all the added stresses of Christmas shopping, school plays and general childcare juggling once the children have broken up from school. Offering staff a little extra flexibility with their working schedule or rewarding them with added time off can allow them to tick one more thing off their to-do list that otherwise they simply have not had time to do.

3. Help them re-evaluate their finances to allow major purchases in the long run

Inevitably Christmas ends up being a time of excess. When the shops are full, the children are nagging and everyone needs a little cheering up, it’s easy to spend your way out of the pre-Christmas malaise. But longer term there are consequences. The added financial stress of Christmas can be the biggest factor impacting staff morale and can be a common trigger of bigger stress problems and depression.

As such, this is a good time to embrace financial wellness. Help employees to review finances and plan longer term – for instance, if a new home is on their wishlist then although Santa won’t deliver and it’s a little out of budget for a Christmas bonus, you can look at providing the sort of financial education and advice through solutions such as mortgage advice workshops that will cost neither you or them a penny. That’s got to be a present they will love you for. 

4. Push health and wellbeing services harder than ever

When staff are feeling a little down in the dumps one of the first recommendations a doctor will give is to do more exercise. There’s nothing quite like getting the endorphins going to completely change an employee’s mood. Whether it’s pushing them to take advantage of office workout equipment, gym memberships, rewarding them with a Christmas treat that’s a little more energetic than an office meal out or simply encouraging a walk outside at lunchtime, promoting exercise – particularly in light of the Christmas pounds to come – could be enough to get staff fired up once more.

5. Prioritise mental health

Lack of motivation at this time of year is a common problem and largely it’s down to the disappearance of summer, long nights ahead and the next (warm and relaxing) holiday seeming like a lifetime away. However, don’t be quick to dismiss your employee’s lack of drive as simply the time of year.

A lack of motivation can be caused by stress, so check if there are bigger things at play – such as financial strains, family or health problems or other worries – and encourage them to make use of resources and services available to them at work such as employee assistance programmes. Also look for signs of depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or winter depression, significantly impacts around three per cent of the UK population, while traditional depression can strike at any time but can be triggered by stress.

This article was provided by Charles Cameron & Associates.

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