How to keep staff happy over Christmas

Make the workplace more relaxed

During the festive season it’s important to loosen the reins. Create an atmosphere of joy around the workplace and ensure your employees feel as relaxed as Santa on 26 December.

After all, our research found that over a third (38.3%) of professionals feel that a relaxed working environment is one of the best parts of working over Christmas.

A great way to do this is to put in a place a more casual and festive dress code than usual; who doesn’t love a novelty Christmas jumper? You can also decorate the office or workspace to keep your employees feeling festive.

Your employees are still there to work but by relaxing the rules a little you’ll show them that you trust them to get on with the job.

Have some festive fun

There are plenty of ways to spread cheer around the workplace. During the day, why not play some Christmas music? One in four (24%) respondents said this is the best part about working over the festive season.

You can also organise a Secret Santa among your employees. This doesn’t need to be anything extravagant; you can set a limit on the spend to keep costs down. As it’s just a bit of fun, £5 – £10 is usually preferable.

Allow for a bit of down time every now and then, especially if your workplace is much quieter during this time. Perhaps you could organise a Christmas quiz, give out satirical end-of-year awards, play board games, do a charity fundraiser or put on a festive lunch. ‘Tis the season to be jolly after all!

Organise staff social events

Then there’s the big one. The office Christmas party! Depending on the size of your company, you may not choose to host a huge event. But, at the very least, be sure to organise after-work drinks or a Christmas meal out for your team.

This can help to keep staff feeling motivated as you near the end of the year. Not to mention that it gives them a nice opportunity to socialise with one another outside of the work environment.

If you can afford to pay for this event yourself – even better. Every business should ideally have a budget set aside for staff entertainment. These sorts of perks can influence how much someone enjoys working for you, so make sure you put in the effort.

Offer flexible working hours

Let’s face it, being stuck at work isn’t ideal when your family is at home celebrating. Your employees would probably rather be eating leftover turkey and taking part in a traditional Christmas movie marathon.

Another way to ease the blow of working over Christmas is to offer flexible working. If your office is usually open 9-5.30, why not switch it slightly so people only need to work 9.30-4? That way they’ve still got a long evening to enjoy with their loved ones.

Allowing your staff to work from home is perhaps the perfect compromise. That way the work is getting done, but they can do it in the comfort of their own home.

Of course, if your workplace isn’t office-based, these options might not be available. If your employees are working shifts, make sure they’re fair for each employee. It can be a bit of a nightmare to organise, but it’s important.

Consider a Christmas bonus

Offering a Christmas bonus is a great way to show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work, not just over the Christmas period but over the year as a whole.

The amount you pay will of course depend on the size of your business and your revenue. However, if you can afford to give your staff a little extra for their effort, it always goes down well.

In fact, this came second on the list of top Christmas perks, with 29.3% of professionals agreeing. Consider what’s going to work for your company – you may prefer to give other perks instead.

Final thoughts

Having to work over Christmas can be frustrating for employees, especially if they’re missing out on social activities or time with their family.

As long as you bear this in mind when your staff are at work over the festive period, you’ll stand a much better chance of keeping them happy.

So, take these small steps to help make your workspace and the atmosphere feel more relaxed and full of festive cheer!