The lead up to Christmas is always a special time. The Christmas tree is up, the presents are being bought and the mince pies are being eaten. But Christmas can come with its own stresses and challenges for you and your team. With so many demands on your team’s personal time, it’s inevitable that productivity at work will take a bit of a hit. So how do you keep your employees motivated and working productively during the holiday season?
According to one survey, 30-40% of staff reported a fall in productivity from mid December1. This means that your employees may not be performing as productively as they normally would for half of the month of December. Another survey found that 42% of employees confess to Christmas shopping online while at work, while 35% say they’re planning Christmas Day at work and 30% are planning their Christmas break2. With all of these festive distractions occupying your team’s minds, it’s hardly surprising that they may not be working as effectively as they would do normally.
So how can SME owners improve the productivity of their team at Christmas time?
December can be a busy month for some industries, and employees often have more work to do in fewer working days. Many people take additional annual leave during December too, meaning that the team members that are working often have more work to do in order to cover the workloads of their colleagues. As a small business owner, it’s important to be able to recognise when some members of your team might be feeling the strain of an increased workload. If someone is staying in the office late every evening when everybody else is out enjoying the festivities, then this may be an indication that they have too much work to do and are feeling the strain. If possible, you could work with them to identify tasks on their to-do list that can wait until the New Year to free up some of their time.