Staff management during the holidays: How to thank your team and motivate them for year-end

Staff management through the holiday period

The holidays are coming! Here are some creative, low-cost ways to thank your team and get them ready for the upcoming busy season.

The holidays are coming! During this season of lights and festivities, show your staff just how thankful you are for their hard work this past year. It is important that your employees feel valued.


Employee recognition will also motivate your employees as your company gears up for another exciting year with new projects and initiatives.

Here are some creative, low-cost ways to thank your staff and get them ready for the upcoming busy season.

1. Toast them and post them

You probably already make a practice of thanking employees and recognising them for their good work. During the holidays, take it one step further. On each day until the end of the year, make one employee the star. Have everyone in the department write a note on a Post-It about what makes the person such an integral part of the team. Then sign the notes and put them on his or her door or computer screen. Make sure the senior manager participates too.

2. Care for and feed the staff

Free food is a great gesture when it comes to staff management. Instead of sandwiches or pizza for lunch, though, show a little creativity by ordering authentic Greek, Mexican or Spanish cuisine. Then, after the meal, spread a little cheer by passing out tokens of appreciation, such as movie passes, gift cards, gas cards or scratch-off tickets. Thank each person individually as you hand out the gifts. Then give everyone the rest of the day off.

3. Stock the pantry

Many offices offer free coffee or tea, but do one better by getting a Nespresso or Keurig for the break room. These machines make more than barista-quality espresso drinks. They also produce tea, hot cocoa, warm cider and cold drinks. Go the extra mile and up your staff management bonus points by putting out granola bars, biscotti, popcorn, fresh fruit and other good-for-you snacks. This small offering will help your staff power through crunch time.

4. Be flexible 

One of the best ways a manager can thank his or her team is to be open to alternative work arrangements. Productivity can increase if employees can shake up their schedules: come in early and leave early, work from home once or twice a week, or work 10 hours a day and have one day off a week, for example. Being flexible shows that you appreciate their work and realise the importance of a healthy work life balance during this busy time.

Get a jump on the busy season by incorporating gratitude and motivation techniques into your staff management practices. Don’t forget, if you’re not doing all you can to keep your staff happy, you could be at greater risk of losing your best talent to your competitors. Also, keep in mind that while you absolutely need your team feeling appreciated, you don’t need to wait until the holidays to show your staff that you care.

This article was provided by Robert Half United States and originally appeared as “Staff Management During the Holidays: How to Thank Your Team and Motivate Them for Year-End” on the website of AFWA.

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