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Festive spirit for temporary peak workers

Christmas is a busy time for temporary recruitment. The postal services are set to hire 33,000 temporary workers to handle the online shopping frenzy this Christmas, and there are currently around 26,000 seasonal jobs available in retail, logistics and warehousing.

However, working over Christmas can be hard work, and many people would rather be at home celebrating. Bringing some festive cheer into the workplace can boost staff morale and improve team bonding, which in turn can improve employee engagement and productivity.

Top tips on how to get employees into the festive spirit

Make sure that you include everyone, not just those who celebrate Christmas. There are many different celebrations around this time of year, so to be inclusive introduce other denominations into your workplace festivities, such as Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice.

Where staff are not working from home and are still coming into the workplace, there are ways to create a festive spirit. You can decorate the working area, whether it be a warehouse or call centre, ask everyone to bring in holiday themed food for a workplace celebration or perhaps encourage a culture of gratitude, create a “Giving Tree”, where colleagues can hang notes of appreciation and thanks to each other.

This time of year is about giving, especially to those who are less fortunate. You can help to spread this message by organising a “reverse advent calendar”, where everyone brings in an item to add to a food parcel for a local food bank. Alternatively, you can ask your workers to choose a charity that is close to their hearts and donate on behalf of the company. Or give staff time off to help a good cause, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

On a more formal note, show your staff consideration by finalising annual leave/days off well in advance, so that people can make plans to see family and friends.

Recognising and rewarding your seasonal team members by giving staff a bonus is a great way to show your gratitude in a way that makes your workers feel valued and appreciated. Saying thank you in this way can not only boost morale, but it can also impact you team’s productivity and engagement.

Tips for spreading festive cheer to your remote workers

Not everyone is back working full-time in the workplace. Due to the work-from-home-where- possible, directive given by the government, many companies have workers continuing to or returning back to work from home. So, how do you spread the festive cheer when you’re not even under the same workplace roof?

To help remote teams to feel more connected, why not hold a virtual awards ceremony. As well as the heartfelt well-done awards, you can also have some light-hearted virtual-meeting-specific categories, such as ‘best virtual background’, or ‘most interrupted by pets/children”.

Maybe hold a virtual Christmas quiz to get everyone involved, with a few Christmas hampers as prizes.  Building a sense of togetherness and showing your gratitude will help your remote staff to feel appreciated, more engaged in their work and therefore more productive.

Using gratitude to promote productivity

Ensure you get the balance right when planning your workplace festivities so that it is fun for all without causing too much distraction. Afterall, you want to say, ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’, but not decrease your teams’ productivity.

One way to use this time of year to promote achievement and recognition is to hold a month-long competition with a different challenge every day and a small gift for the person who achieves the most.

Be inclusive, observe the holiday season in a way that includes people from all walks of life and doesn’t marginalise anyone. You can achieve this by focusing on the universal acts of giving, kindness and appreciation.

Having temporary workers join your permanent employees over the busiest periods of the holiday season to help with the workload can help retain productivity levels, reduce stress, and allow time for some team building festive fun. 

Spare a thought for all the people who will be hard at work over the Christmas period. Our key workers that made, and continue to make, an immense difference during this pandemic, such as carers, nurses, doctors, emergency workers, delivery drivers, warehouse staff, and essential retail workers, may well be working on Christmas day.

Remember to say thank you to all the millions of temporary key workers called in to work over the busy Christmas period.

In this series, we are looking to unlock the secrets behind empowering, engaging and motivating your entire workforce with the power of happiness. Although they are often under-represented within existing productivity and business development guidance, Blue Arrow believes that temporary workers are an integral part of the wider workforce driving businesses - so to find out more about how you can use happiness to improve productivity throughout your entire organisation, click here.

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