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4 Tips to Fight Employee Disengagement During the Holidays During peak season, leaders shouldn't let employee morale and recognition go by the wayside.

By FlexTal

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This article was written by Raqhelle Millbrooks, a member of the Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble content team. Entrepreneur NEXT is our Expert solutions division leading the future of work and skills-based economy. If you're struggling to find, vet, and hire the right Experts for your business, Entrepreneur NEXT is a platform to help you hire the experts you need, exactly when you need them. From business to marketing, sales, design, finance, and technology, we have the top 3 percent of Experts ready to work for you.

It almost goes without saying that recognizing and empowering your employees is important. The biggest holidays of the year are approaching, requiring extra hours and effort from staff to maximize your business revenue. As we saw during the second quarter this year, some industries noticed mobile sales skyrocket compared to prior years. Even more businesses have the opportunity to recover lost revenue from this year thanks to the holidays.

The holiday season will require businesses to provide safe shopping experiences, making it unlike any season we've seen before.

New research predicts a 1 percent to 1.5 percent increase in total U.S. consumer spending from November through January, and as much as a 35 percent increase in seasonal online sales. Although the pandemic brings uncertainty for forecasting demand, what businesses can prepare for are ways to fight disengagement and increase morale and recognition among employees during peak season.

As your company adapts to the pandemic, acknowledging your employees hard work and dedication can empower them to remain positive and increase well being. Instill pride and happiness in your employees by being timely, personal and understanding. Covid-19 has impacted individuals in a variety of ways, and it is important to be aware of ways to support your employees while still maximizing your revenue.

Here are four creative tips to show your employees appreciation this holiday season:

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1. Be timely, genuine, specific and public.

Practice timely recognition through active daily or weekly appreciation. An engaged company means creating a culture that is supportive and team oriented. Don't wait until your next holiday party or work anniversary celebrations to mention good worth ethic and appreciation. Weekly recognition celebrations create a rewarding culture that is honest and authentic.

Be genuine through handwritten notes. When was the last time you received a handwritten note? When was the last time you wrote a card for someone? Take the time to express your gratitude and appreciation for your staff by writing a note. Go the extra mile and set a standard of appreciation that your employees will recognize.

Strive for recognition that expands beyond physical interaction but digital interaction amongst workers. Practice specific and public recognition that is meaningful and memorable. The Boston Consultant Group ranked work appreciation as number one. Peer-to-peer recognition adds spontaneous value within a company's work culture by encouraging workers to recognize each other's work ethic. Out of six top memorable forms of recognition, both private and public recognition from a leader, peer, or customer was amongst the top two.

2. Review your recognition platform.

Consider investing in recognition platforms where business leaders and employees can recognize each other in a timely fashion. Find the right employee recognition program that will fit your organization. Consider programs that manage peer-to-peer recognition, performance, rewards and points, and recognition tracking. These tools will gauge your employee engagement, performance and recognition, while addressing employee needs and increasing company culture.

Take a look at the top three 2020 recognition platforms:

  • Nectar is known for being cost effective, while enforcing a connected culture through their 360 degree recognition platform.

  • Create social recognition that your employees want to be a part of through Fond. Fond is perfect for diverse teams and global companies with insights that focus on gratitude.

  • Assembly is the top peer to peer recognition platform giving your company the opportunity to easily scale recognition. It's also completely free for unlimited users!

3. Engage your team creatively.

Spice up the usual drinks over Zoom Friday afternoon. Host a themed virtual happy hour. Remote and onsite workers can enjoy gathering with other coworkers while taking a quick mental break. Add fun themes, have everyone bring their favorite snack and drink, and some conversation starters full of laughter.

  • Jeopardy Labs allows you to build an online Jeopardy game or choose from a variety of themes. It's simply, easy, and perfect for a virtual happy hour!

  • Skribbl is a free online pictionary game where players sign on with a specific, private link. The words to draw can be customized or randomly selected by the game.

  • Host holiday trivia games and an ugly sweater day with themes that incorporate holiday movies or songs.

Another idea: Have a sweet peak season. After all, who says no to sensational sugary treats? For staff that choose to work onsite, boost morale with a sweet treat.

  • Stock your freezer with ice cream or popsicles.

  • Decorate holiday themed cookies as a department or branch.

  • Have a hot cocoa bar with pre packaged holiday mugs, hot cocoa and marshmallows.

  • Doughnuts, doughnuts and more doughnuts.

4. Support your staff.

As a business leader, failing to check in with your staff can prove to be detrimental to understanding not only your company's needs, but your employee needs. If your company has supportive resources available, ensure these resources are communicated effectively to your staff. Although the holidays bring cheer and happiness to some, other individuals may be under other stressful situations pending from the pandemic and the increase in workload or stress due to peak season. Reiterate the importance of reaching out for professional help and advice. The busyness of peak season should not deter time to review performance, resolve doubts, provide guidance and support to your team members.

  • Host virtual health and wellness classes like yoga, kickboxing and zumba.

  • Prepare a helpful guide for working efficiently during peak season.

  • Create a forum for employees to submit anonymous questions or concerns

Your company has the opportunity to make a difference this holiday season by emphasizing a rewarding recognition culture. As you prepare for the holiday peak season, ensure you are preparing to fight disengagement and burn out thorough timely and creative appreciation.

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