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Be a Santa not a Scrooge: Show your staff what they mean this Christmas

Written by Robert Ordever on Thursday, 13 December 2018. Posted in HR, Analysis, People

With Christmas now just days away, here are some ideas from Robert Ordever, managing director of workplace culture specialist O.C. Tanner Europe on capitalising on the season of giving

Be a Santa not a Scrooge: Show your staff what they mean this Christmas

As Christmas approaches, staff will naturally feel in a happier mood. There will be a festive spirit heightened by Christmas parties, Secret Santas and tinsel-adorned offices. So why not build on this jolly mood by finding ways to further engage and motive your staff in the run-up to Christmas? Here are ten ways to get the job done.

(1) Give all staff a Christmas present

At O.C. Tanner, this includes a turkey for the Christmas table or equivalent as well as cakes and cheeses. Staff will value the personal touch and the benefits in terms of staff engagement will far outweigh the cost to the company.

(2) Encourage team get-togethers

This could be a meal out or a meal in where employees are encouraged to bring in a festive dish to share with colleagues. This is perfect for building work friendships.

(3) Say "thank you"

There is nothing quite as powerful as feeling valued and appreciated. It's important that staff are recognised for their efforts and results all-year round but why not say a special "thank you" at Christmas? This could be in the form of company awards or simply a Christmas card from the managing director with a personal message inside.

(4) Involve families

Family is a big motivation for going into work each day and at Christmas time people appreciate their families all the more. So consider ways to involve workers' partners and children in the festivities. Perhaps organise a children's party, a grotto or a carol service. This approach greatly enhances engagement, motivation and loyalty. 

(5) Have a Christmas baking competition

Ask staff to have a go at baking Christmas favourites and then encourage some healthy competition. This injects some fun into the workplace.

(6) Put a twist on Secret Santa

Why not ask people to include a personal note in their Secret Santa gift which says something positive or complimentary about the recipient such as their work ethic, bubbly personality or success on a recent project? This is a great way to bring smiles to colleagues’ faces, enhancing the joy around the office.

(7) Consider charitable giving

Select a charity that the company can assist with financially and/or in terms of their time. If possible, provide staff with a few hours off work to allow them to help out. Charitable giving naturally heightens people's feel-good factor and this will positively impact motivation levels and how the company is perceived.

(8) Have a Christmas jumper/onesie day

This is a quick and easy way to encourage staff to get into the Christmas spirit. There could even be prizes for the most festive outfits.

(9) Organise party games

Allow managers to organise a few fun games for their teams. This could take place for an hour or two and is a great way to build camaraderie.

(10) Don't forget the remote workers

In the run-up to Christmas, it can be all too easy to forget about those who work away from the office. Invite remote workers to the office for special Christmas get-togethers and don't forget to post them a special "thank you" Christmas card. 

When Christmas is looming, it’s the ideal time for organisational leaders to inject some fun and happiness into the workplace. Staff expect companies to make some form of an effort at this time of year and if the response from management is a damp squib, this can do considerable damage to engagement levels. The message is to be a Santa rather than a Scrooge and to ramp-up the jolly. The long-benefits to staff loyalty and morale will be worth every penny. 

About the Author

Robert Ordever

Robert Ordever

Robert Ordever is the Managing Director of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner Europe. Robert joined O.C. Tanner in August 2014, as People and Operations Director. From luxury retail at Harrods to Premier League football at Fulham Football Club, Robert's operational and HR background has given him a real passion for creating a workplace culture that truly gets the best out of its teams.

Robert holds Chartered Fellowship of the CIPD and has specialised in the field of Human Resources for over 17 years.

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