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The end of the year brings with it cold weather, depleted budgets, and stress. However, it is also a time to celebrate the seasons with family, reflect on good fortune, and devise resolutions for the year to come. In short, the end of the year is busy. It can be hard to keep employees motivated and productive when they have a lot going on in their personal lives outside of work. 

This is when it is most important to adapt your leadership style to accommodate the hectic holiday season. It will bolster your employee’s success and encourage them to keep up the great work through the new year. Luckily, there are several low – or no – cost ways to drive your team.


Get into the holiday spirit

The holidays are a great time to turn an otherwise drab office space into a winter wonderland. Anything from hanging lights, setting up a tree, or placing decor around the office is sure to spruce the place up. Getting the employees involved with the decorating is a fun way to give them a short break during the day. 


Spread Christmas cheer

Christmas is about much more than giving and receiving gifts, but that doesn’t mean those activities aren’t still fun. As a manager, giving each employee on your team a small gift like a coffee mug or a gift card to a local cafe is a great way to let them know you care. Alternatively, open up the idea of a gift exchange, like secret Santa or a white elephant. These, of course, would be optional games, but the game aspect of it is always fun. 

You can even create challenges that align with the end of year goals, rewarding those who meet the challenges with extra PTO or other valuable winnings. 


Offer flexibility

Employee scheduling is likely to change during the holidays. Children are out of school, spouses may have different schedules, families travel, and routines change. Be open to the idea of flexible work hours if your company allows for it, and express this to your employees. Early dismissals or work from home days are a great way to show appreciation and gain respect from your employees. They will likely be more productive with their time as well knowing that they are allowed to leave early.  


Remain positive

A positive attitude goes a long way, especially during the holiday season. Realistically, most people would rather be at home or with their families celebrating the season, and not spending 40 hours a week at work. A manager who leads with a positive attitude and encourages productivity for team goals is one that employees will want to work hard for. Alluding to the stress of the end of the year will only discourage your team from reaching their goals and will make the season drag on. 


Before you know it, the new year will be here, bringing new goals and budgets along with it. Getting over the end-of-year hurdles all while enjoying the holidays with loved ones is a daunting task but it can be done.