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Keeping Your Employees Jolly (and Productive) During the Holidays

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

December may just be one of the craziest months of the year! Between the shopping, wrapping, endless errand running, and party-going to completing year-end projects and tasks, goal setting for the coming year, finishing next year’s budgets, and attending company and client holiday events, our minds are all over the place, we are spread thin, and are completely spent. Productivity oftentimes takes a backseat to our ever-growing ‘to-do’ lists!

A study conducted last November by the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that 62% of companies experience a decrease in productivity levels during the holiday season. If you feel that your team isn’t performing at their highest and best productivity level at this time of year, you are not alone. This statistic underscores just how common decreased productivity levels are in the workplace.

What can you do to keep your employee’s productivity levels consistent and address their higher stress levels? Reverie offers the following suggestions:

Show Appreciation to Your Employees: Nothing motivates employees more than saying thank you! Write them a note, send them an email, or tell them in person. Let them know how much you appreciate them, their hard work, and their dedication to the company. A study published in Forbes found that 79% of people who quit their jobs do so because they didn’t feel appreciated. There’s never a better time to say thank you then at this hectic time of year.

Get Festive With Your Team: Plan a team lunch or gathering to celebrate the holidays. Organize a White Elephant gift exchange. Jam the holiday tunes. Coordinate an Ugly Sweater contest. Plan a potluck lunch. Take a few hours during the holiday season to have a little fun with your team. Sometimes just taking a break from work and having fun with your colleagues, even for only a few hours, is all that is needed to alleviate stress and get everyone back on track.

Encourage Wellness: One of the best ways to avoid stress is through exercising (and yet, it’s one of the first things we “let go” when facing higher stress levels). Encourage your employees to take a walk during lunch (yes, LEAVE their desks). Have a yoga instructor come to the office to lead a lunchtime, early morning, or late afternoon class. Encourage your employees to download a meditation app. Support your employees by offering them opportunities to eliminate stress, increase their energy, and encourage wellness during this time of year.

Offer Flexible Hours or Give Everyone a “Work From Home” Day: While more people are currently working remotely or have a hybrid schedule, there are still plenty of employees who head into work each day. If it isn’t detrimental to your business, consider allowing each employee to work from home once during the month of December.

Whether your employees work in the office or from home, you could “gift” each employee a few PTO hours to be used between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Or, you could allow your employees to come in late, leave early, or take an extended lunch once during the holiday season. In addition, consider offering a floating holiday to be inclusive of all the holidays celebrated during this time of year. Offering employees flexibility in their schedule or giving them a few hours of PTO can be all they need to increase productivity and put forth their best efforts.

Show Empathy/Understanding to Employees: If employees don’t seem like themselves, aren’t performing to their full potential, or seem burnt out, take the time to speak with them. It could be as simple as “holiday stress” or there may be a larger issue going on. Not only does this show your employees how much you care about their well-being, it also demonstrates your willingness to work with your employees to find solutions and offer a helping hand as they go through a difficult or stressful time.

What has your company done to keep your employees happy, energized, and productive during the holiday season? We would love to hear what has worked in your organization. Email us at

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