Don’t be a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins: employee engagement at Christmas
Christmas is everyone’s favourite time of year – right? However, with impeding end-of-year targets encroaching on the festive fun, employee engagement can be at an all-time low as they rush to complete deadlines. With over half of UK workers (61%) admitting to being distracted at work by Christmas as early as November, with 21% saying they’re too excited by the festivities to concentrate , it can be difficult focusing their attentions.
Making smiling your employees’ favourite again
Whilst deadlines need to be met, encourage your employees to balance their workload across the entire month. There have been cases in which employees feel obliged to miss the annual company Christmas party in order to finish up tasks. Ensure that employees are aware of any upcoming deadline dates so that they may prioritise their work schedule accordingly.
Christmas is the perfect time of year to encourage colleagues to come together to build morale and raise engagement. Christmas parties are a great time for staff across departments to socialise; use the company-wide Christmas party to urge staff from across departments to socialise to gain an appreciation for each other’s function within the business.
New found friendships made over festive platters can be carried through into the workplace. Make the most of your Learning Management System (LMS) with its social aspect; with the functionality of users being able to ‘rate’ courses completed, staff will be able to build their online profile further to ensure that they remain up-to-date with courses popular amongst their peers. Prioritize a humanistic workplace  for ultimate employee satisfaction and engagement.
Also make time over the festive period to celebrate your employees’ achievements. From ‘soft skill’ accomplishments through to gaining professional qualifications, make use of your online LMS to track and monitor individual and team achievements. Simple recognition is often all that is required, with engagement heightening through the feeling of appreciation – however, gifts wouldn’t go amiss if you wanted to take the next step in your recognition and reward!
Employee engagement can be further improved with the option of remote working. With commuting distances ever increasing, and many young professionals moving away from their hometown, you can bet that your workforce will be grateful for the option to work at their family home on the approach to Christmas, or the period between Christmas and New Year. Employee productivity doesn’t have to decrease with their distance from the office – many systems are created for remote working, and efficient LMSs should be mobile-optimised to ensure that learning on-the-go is a viable and welcome option.
Not now, Arctic Puffin
With 55% of staff ranking opportunities to use their skills and abilities in the workplace as an important factor to the impact of their job satisfaction , it is clear that employers should not dismiss their staffs’ needs. A further 60% of employees ranked overall benefits as an important contributor to their job satisfaction; these benefits include their access to further training and development.
Employers should ensure that they act on all feedback; listen to your employees’ thoughts on your available learning tools. Towards Maturity has reported that the best performing organisations are twice as likely to make use of technology for the training of ‘soft’ and professional skills , so if you’ve not yet considered implementing an online LMS, the New Year may be the time to do so!
Great job, everybody!
For maximum employee engagement during the bleak winter months, ensure that you focus your Christmas celebrations on individual and team successes to encapsulate everyone’s efforts to reach a common goal. Reward your staffs’ efforts for their triumphs; successful staff training and development increases employee engagement and satisfaction by 28% , so make sure they know that more opportunities to progress will be available in the New Year!
 HR Grapevine
 Deloitte, ‘The employee experience: Culture, engagement, and beyond’, 28 February 2017
 The Balance, ‘Best Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction and Engagement’, 17 July 2017
 Towards Maturity, ‘Unlocking Potential: 2016-17 Learning Benchmark Report’