It’s a Monday. It’s dark by 4pm and half the office have mentally checked out already. The dying glow of fairy-lights flicker, blu-tacked around your computer screen. Tinsel from your colleague’s desk scratches your hand every time you move the mouse.
Christmas looks different to all of us, but it’s safe to say this is an all-too-familiar ‘festive’ scene in the office. While some employees may be holiday fanatics, others may want to just get their head down and forget about it all. Productivity slowly starts to drop from the 1st of December, and you’re wondering how you can encourage good work and keep spirits high – all while not blowing a tight budget. Well, we don’t work miracles, but we do have some great ideas at Benefex…
What a cracking idea
Put a cracker on everyone’s desk – Or, if your workspace isn’t desk-based, have a big box for people to take one from! A little surprise for employees to come in to provides a huge amount of joy, and crackers are a great option. They’re relatively inexpensive (buy in bulk!) and provide a hat, a present and some impeccable holiday humour. Not to mention, the camaraderie and excitement of sharing your cracker contents with colleagues is more fun than ordinary presents! If you have a little extra budget, perhaps give each employee an advent calendar or a Santa hat…
Is it tinsel time?
Indulge in the festive spirit – Whatever your stance on Christmas, you’ve got to admit that tinsel is always pretty festive. Why not invest in an office Christmas tree and some decorations. Admittedly, this involves a cost to the business, but the effect of festive decorations can not only improve morale, but even boost productivity. Plus, you can get the whole workplace involved in the decoration to minimise effort and encourage team bonding!
‘Twas the night before Christmas…
Give your people Christmas Eve off – On Christmas Eve, the majority of employees would rather be spending time with their children, getting some last-minute shopping in or planning the big day! While some jobs do require a 365 presence, it’s likely that a lot of office-based jobs don’t. How many customers or clients are you actually speaking to on the 24th? How many employees are actually focussed and productive? Whether you offer the day as paid or unpaid leave, people will be appreciative either way. With many businesses sending people home at lunchtime anyway, making it a whole day can make a huge difference to your team.
Teambuilding and gingerbreading
Hold a gingerbread house competition! – Making a gingerbread house is a timeless festive classic that everyone can enjoy. Not only is it a brilliant team-building activity, but having half an hour to relax, socialise and focus your festivities will result in the rest of the day being more productive. Gingerbread kits can be bought in bulk for a lower price, or you can ask for participation donations to go towards the costs and donate any profit to a chosen office charity.
A quizzical notion
Host a company Christmas quiz – This costs the department nothing! A wonderfully-cheesy PowerPoint and some imaginative festive questions can brighten up a December day no end. Give your people a couple of hours off, let them team up and battle it out for the coveted crown of most-pointless-trivia-known. After a break and some time away with colleagues, people will go back to work in high spirits, ready to crack on with the day.
CCC (Comfy Cosy Christmassy)
Schedule a festive clothes day – Christmas Jumper Day is on the 14th December this year, and is a fantastic day organised by Save the Children. But why stop at jumpers? Encourage your employees to wear their boldest and brightest festive socks, shirts, hats and anything else! The laughs from great outfits and the buzz of camaraderie will leave people feeling all-round more joyful. Any event like this which create a fun, festive atmosphere always results in a happier and more productive workplace! What’s more, if you really want to up your game – make a collection for Save the Children (or a charity of your choice – Benefex is supporting the Society of St. James). After all, Christmas is about giving!
Happy holidays, everyone!
Give employees cards from the CEO – At a previous job of mine, every employee received a handwritten card from the business owner. Now, it’s unlikely they were all handwritten by him, but that didn’t matter – it truly was the thought that counted. The excitement of getting a card, the feeling of being appreciated whatever our job (and that was several hundred people in total). Now, this could be impractical if you have 2,000+ employees; but what about ordering cards, a personalised email or a shared message on OneHub’s Recognition app? The personal touch will resonate with so many of your people, remind them that they are valued, and it can really make a huge difference to morale and loyalty.
Working during the Christmas period doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Whether people are missing their family, counting down the days, or just trying to be productive – throw up some tinsel, gather your colleagues and share in the festivities together.