Business people in santa hat at Xmas at the company party. motivating employees during the holidays

The holidays tend to be a challenging time to keep your employees fully engaged. It’s busy. Workloads are heavier. Schedules get more complicated with the addition of seasonal employees. And, everyone is thinking about spending time with family, which means more time off work. This may seem like a horrible time of year to make deeper connections with your employees, but it happens to be the best.

The Reasons Are Clear

Your employees are more focused on their work during the holidays than at any other time of the year. There’s an increase in engagement during October and November primarily due to focusing on year-end goals and appreciation from management. Other reasons for the increase come from employer-sponsored events and unofficial happy hours that develop deeper connections across the organization.

Research shows that engaged employees are more productive. They are willing to utilize their resources, the tools to help them succeed and collaborate as a team. It all comes together during this one time of year, and you may be missing a major opportunity.

Motivating Employees During the Holidays

You create a sense of belonging when you engage more with your employees. This begins with communication. For it to be effective, you need to communicate in ways that they will listen:

  • Authenticity
  • Transparency
  • Relevant topics
  • Brief messaging

You’ll lose your audience if any one of these is not present. Authenticity builds trust while transparency shows that you trust them with inside knowledge. Keeping the topic relevant and brief lets them know that you respect their time.

Here are some ways to keep motivating employees during the holidays without causing major distractions during the busy season:

Appreciation and Incentives

This is the best time of year to show your appreciation. Everyone is in the mood to give and receive gifts. It’s also perfect for contests and incentives. These are a great way to encourage engagement, and your employees will appreciate the extra money during this time of year.


The holidays are a time for celebration throughout the world. Everyone is in a festive mood, so you should capitalize on this goodwill and spread the cheer. You’re more likely to produce resentment if you don’t decorate for the holidays. Get everyone involved to make it more fun and take less time doing it.

Communicate Goals

You can share your goals for the season as well as the goals for next year. This provides a transparent look into your organization and allows them to improve upon previous efforts.

Coaching and Development

These focus on helping everyone perform better, especially when it’s busy. Coaching requires good communication—each side taking feedback from the other—to assess and teach valuable skills for personal development. These show that you care about their future.


Your employees provide actionable insights into situations that impede their progress. They will let you know if they have a lack of resources or can take on more responsibilities. Open-door policies work great, but you also need to take into account that some people want to remain anonymous.

Employees Are the Heart of Your Business

Your best employees are the most engaged. They come into work with positive attitudes and a willingness to go above and beyond to make sure their customers are more than just happy. It’s the sense of belonging to the organization that motivates them to succeed.

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business. They change and grow with you over time. By engaging more with them, you build a stronger relationship and deeper connection with each one.

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