It’s that time of year again (seriously, where have the last 12 months gone?) where most of us are looking forward to the festivities that the Christmas holiday brings.
However, it can be hard to stay motivated at work during the lead up to Christmas. What with present shopping, office parties, and organising the family get-together on people’s minds, keeping engagement levels high is difficult. Here’s 3 tips on motivating staff during the festive season:
1) Keep deadlines realistic
Let’s be realistic here. Critical projects or work that have a Christmas deadline aren’t feasible. It places undue pressure on your staff to deliver something during a timeframe where coworkers and external stakeholders may be on holiday, and therefore unable to contribute or help resolve outstanding issues. Enforcing a strict deadline over the festive season will not only increase stress levels, it will also be a demotivating experience for the staff involved who may be the only ones holding the fort.
Organising a catch-up with the project team before the end of the year would be a more fruitful way of dealing with deadlines. That way any outstanding work can be reviewed and planned accordingly, preventing any unnecessary load on particular team members. Larger projects could also be broken down into smaller chunks, enabling some work to be completed before Christmas with the remainder revisited in the new year.
2) Embrace the festivities
Christmas simply can’t (and shouldn’t) be ignored. It’s an exciting time of year, so what better way of embracing the festive spirit than decorating your office? Getting staff involved in making the office look Christmassy is a great way of encouraging teamwork, as well as getting people away from their desks for a little exercise (hanging baubles from a tree is thirsty work, OK?)
Decorating doesn’t have to be limited to the physical office either. You can digitally decorate your intranet software with festivities such as a “countdown to Christmas” widget, Christmas colour schemes and backgrounds.
3) Shorten meetings
Long meetings are difficult at the best of times, but when the heating is on full blast, there’s Christmas shopping to be done, and mince pies in the office kitchen, keeping attention levels at 100% for extended periods of time is even trickier.
Of course, doing away with meetings altogether isn’t always appropriate, but cutting them in half throughout the festive period may be a suitable option. The less time spent sitting in a meeting room, the more likely staff will remain focused, as their attentions won’t be spread so thin. In fact, shorter meetings can be more productive than long ones, with Richard Branson himself claiming that meetings should take no longer than 5-10 minutes.
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