How to Avoid Employee Productivity Slumps During the Holiday Season


It's no secret that a lot of employees struggle with staying focused and productive around the holidays; what with family arrangements, end-of-year work obligations, and maybe even vacations to plan and gifts to buy.

Add to that the fact that 51% of employees report uneasiness asking their managers for time off or flexible hours during the holidays - due to the usually unaccommodating responses they get - and your business starts to face a motivational slump.

So what exactly do employees need to stay motivated and productive during the holiday season?

Extra Flexibility 

According to a recent survey of 2000 employees, 37% said they needed the ability to work remotely in order to stay productive without being constantly preoccupied with family obligations. In addition, over half of those surveyed said their company allows them to work remotely. Among this group, an overwhelming majority of 91% said they're as productive - if not more productive - when they do. 

More PTO

It was also found that closing the office for more days had a direct positive impact on in-office productivity during the holidays. 42% of employees at offices that close additional days during the holidays reported higher productivity, compared to only 17% in offices that don't.

Better Rewards 

What significantly surpassed the other needs though was "a larger holiday bonus", with 44% of the surveyed employees saying that they would be far more productive and motivated if they received a bigger Christmas bonus from their employer. 

A higher bonus, or a better bonus? 

It's already known that upping a company's rewards budget isn't always a feasible option, especially around the year end. An easier - and even more effective - solution to this should be a better bonus, which - according to research - doesn't necessarily have to be higher in monetary value. In fact, studies show that cash bonuses have the least impact among rewards of monetary value, their main drawback being that they tend to go towards mundane expenses, and eventually get forgotten as a part of one’s salary. No employee is going to become more motivated and productive for using their salary to pay a bill.

So, what’s a “better bonus” then, anyway? 

A recent survey showed that 50% of respondents prefer prepaid gift cards as their Christmas bonus this year because of their ease of use, convenience, and the ability to buy items of their own choosing. Plus, it’s a proven fact that a workplace gift that extends to the employee’s family and personal life is always the best choice.