How to Keep Your Employees Motivated During the Holidays

Maintaining high morale and productivity between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be tough for any business.

The obligations and stress of the holidays can cause employees to be preoccupied, distracted, or unmotivated. Furthermore, many workers take vacation days during the holidays, which can mean others have to pick up their slack.

All of this means employers have to take extra steps to keep employees motivated during the holidays. The following suggestions help to keep your staff members productive throughout the season.

Show Gratitude

Employees who feel valued are less prone to feeling disengaged and uninspired. A recent study by the University of Pennsylvania found a direct connection between expressions of gratitude and higher productivity. In the study, call center employees who were regularly thanked by their supervisors made 50 percent more calls than study participants who were not thanked for their work.

Because staff members are probably going to feel additional stress during the holidays, showing appreciation can be the push they need to stay focused and inspired to do good work. In addition to expressing thanks verbally, company leaders may want to consider writing personalized holiday notes to each of their staff members to thank them for the work they do all year round.

Encourage Paid Time Off

While it may seem counterproductive to encourage staff members to take vacation time during the holiday season, it’s important for them to do so. Those who take their paid time off during this time of the year can effectively address the added stress and be more effective when they do come into work. Conversely, those who don’t take time off are less able to concentrate on their work, especially if they have to run last-minute after work and drive around to all kinds of family events.

After making arrangements to cover for missing employees, possibly through temporary staffing solutions, let staff members know that they should take time off they need during the holidays to take care of personal and family business.

Prioritize Strong Communication

With more staff members using paid time off, effective communication around the workplace becomes more important than ever. Think about having a weekly or bi-weekly meeting during the holidays to ensure everybody is on the same page and clear about the status of their particular responsibilities. These meetings can also be used to plan around various employees taking time off. Useful, regular communication helps to keep workers engaged and motivated.


Companies shouldn’t overlook the holidays themselves just to keep staff members focused on the work they do. A strong leader will embrace the holidays as they work to keep staff members engaged and effective. Even though holiday potlucks, contests, and gift-giving may cause some distraction, this time of year is a great time to build stronger connections among your staff members, recognize good performances and end the year in a powerful way.

We Can Be Your Holiday Staffing Solution

At NSC, we are happy to support our clients throughout the holiday season. Please contact us today if your company needs holiday staffing assistance.


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