The holidays can be an extremely stressful time for everyone. With the stress of buying the right gifts, balancing home and office life, as well as staying focused with all the decorations, music, and events going on, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Of course, the “Holiday Bonus” is the easiest and most immediately satisfying way to reward employees over the holiday season, but for smaller companies, this can be a great, and unaffordable expense. The hard truth is that most people just want money. They want a raise or a bonus and unfortunately, a bonus is only a present if it’s not connected to performance. Thankfully, there are other ways to reward and motivate your staff, while also keeping their attention at work. Using the holidays to your advantage can really help incentivize your employees’ tasks, and spike sales around this time of year.
Choose the Right Rewards
When choosing rewards, ensure the rewards allow for some flexibility to suit everyone. Gift cards and vouchers offer choice, and implementing a rewards program allows for various options and prizes. Consider the “Four Gift Rule” when choosing prizes; “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.”
Incentivize Achievable Goals
When planning holiday goals, they should be easy to measure, clear and specific, and just challenging enough to get done in time. Create a rewards program that carries over into the New Year to help combat the January blues. The easiest way to implement this is by creating a company rewards site where the employees can track their points, exchange them for rewards, or enter contests. Take care to communicate clearly so that the rewards program is office-wide and everyone gets a chance to participate!
Point vouchers: Vouchers can be varied, this way employees can choose to keep saving their points for a big item or trade them in early for several smaller prizes. Not only does it feel good to be rewarded for your efforts, but employees also have the option to give prizes as gifts and save on holiday costs, if they so choose.
Online scratch card codes: Once a certain level of points is attained, employees get a code to “scratch” on a company site for a chance to win prizes. Again these can be anything like gift cards, wine crates, or gadgets.
Trip incentive: This option allows employees to accumulate daily points throughout the holiday season to claim a holiday trip. These could range from local to international, including ski trips, spa weekends, or Christmas shopping sprees!
Grand prize draw: When reaching a certain level of points, employees get a code to enter a ballot into the grand prize draw. This can be “the Twelve Days of Christmas” or once a week in December. The more goals they reach, the more ballots they can enter, and the higher their chances for winning top prizes.
Beyond a rewards or point system, it’s important to thank and reward specifically high achieving employees publicly. Whether this is with an announcement in a meeting, a wall of recognition, or a luncheon, showing your gratitude in front of other employees is good for morale and gives a boost to employees who deserve a little extra recognition. In addition, say thank you to the employee’s family by sending flowers, or gift cards for a night out to a restaurant, movie night, or spa.
Flexible Work Hours
On the same note, allow for family days like a sick or vacation day. Give the option to work from home to parents who request it. A bit of flexibility helps to relieve stress in a season where there is a lot going on not only in the office, but personally as well. Some extra or flexible family time may be just what your staff needs to stay motivated and loyal into the New Year. Additionally, encourage employees to slow down, taking one task at a time. Distractions like social media, coupled with a massive to-do list and deadlines, produce unfocused work and more time away from loved ones.
Decorate the Office
With so many DIY decoration tutorials available on YouTube and Pinterest, it’s easy to get the staff involved in the process. Take an afternoon for team building and make a rewards game out of decorating. Perhaps let the winning team choose the office Christmas party location, or offer the option to split the budget by department. Remember that management leads the Holiday spirit. If you’re grouchy, then your staff will feel it and motivation will plummet. That being said, be respectful of people’s choices around the Holidays. Whether for personal or religious reasons, some people may not observe the festivities. Don’t pressure people for not taking part.
After all, tis the season! Your employees also want to know they’re a part of something bigger; that the company is actually making positive changes in the world. This doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture, but even looking up some local charitable activities like a food bank or clothing drive can get the office giving.