The stress of the holiday season can hamper the productivity of even your most engaged employees. All the more reason for employers to keep employees inspired through the holidays.

Consider these five tips to creatively and effectively motivate employees during the holidays:

1. Write an appreciation letter to each employee. Look back over the year and reflect on your employees’ accomplishments. “I had two employees cry [after reading their letters], and that letter became a keepsake [for them].” says Nelson, who owns Nelson Motivation Inc., a San Diego-based management and training consulting company “That made all the stress worthwhile.”

2. Organize a group activity or outing. One idea: Give each employee a gift card to use that day on something for him or herself, and then meet up in an hour for show and tell. “This not only rewards employees, but creates a team-building activity and bonds the group together,” Nelson says.

3. Give awards at your holiday party. Include an awards ceremony where management can take the time to recognize employees. “You can even get little trophies or make certificates to commemorate the awards,” Nelson says.

4. Respect employees’ personal time. Schedule work holiday events during the day. Denise Blasevick, CEO of the Boonton, New Jersey-based advertising agency The S3 Agency, says “We used to have our office holiday party during the evening, but we found that to be difficult, especially for those who have families. So we decided to change it and celebrate in the middle of the workday.”

5. Organize company charity work. Collect donations for a shelter or food drive, adopt a family or close for a half or full day to work in a soup kitchen.


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