Sustaining team motivation during the holiday season is a tall order. After all, your team members would probably rather be anywhere else than at work, and it’s difficult to keep them duly focused on the tasks at hand. What can you do to facilitate this when some amount of distraction is inevitable?
Most managers say that cold hard cash in the form of an annual bonus is enough to keep team members happy during the holidays, but believe it or not, research in organizational psychology has repeatedly shown that money is not in fact a leading employee motivator. Unless a bonus is enormous, it may barely register on your team members’ radar.
Your best bet is to do a little digging to find out about the specific form of recognition that means most to your team members. Maybe it’s an extra comp day to do holiday shopping, maybe it’s a nice dinner out on the company, and maybe it’s just taking the time to sit down and learn more about each team member’s aspirations for the coming year and ways they would like to be challenged.
Informal conversations with your team members are also great tools for showing your appreciation for how hard they’ve worked and how well they’ve performed. Ask them for – and then genuinely listen to – their thoughts on pending team decisions and developments. If your team members enjoy the spotlight, perhaps you might also participate in or organize a company-wide or departmental awards ceremony that gives public thanks for a job well done.
The critical point is to actively and vocally show that you care and are paying attention. If your team members recognize that you are aware of contributions they’re making and want to do what it takes to keep them feeling great about their work, they’ll be much more likely to continue the upward trajectory now and in the future.