Has Secret Santa Had It’s Day?

Did you know that in the period between Bonfire Night and Christmas employee engagement can take a dip? Maybe it’s the long dark nights or the colder weather, or because those summer holidays are a distant memory. As recruitment consultants we do know it’s also traditionally a time of year when a career change is often on the agenda too.

Whatever the reason, now is a great time of year to think about pepping up your employees. If you can keep them motivated throughout November and December, you have laid good foundations to start the new year. image of glowing fire to illustrate a warm place to work

Let’s start with the simplest idea…….

Ways To Say – Thank-You

Make the point of personally saying “thank-you” to your staff. Thanking them for being committed to the business and consistently working hard. All employers are busy, but make a point of stepping out of our office regularly, visit different departments and people and make the ‘thank-you’ personal.

Make employees feel valued and talk about plans and business goals for the new year. If staff can see where they can contribute to your vision they remain motivated and are less likely to start looking around for a new job.

Be Flexible

With Christmas on the horizon many parents of younger children will have school concerts and nativity plays to watch – these are normally during school hours. Try and be as flexible as you can and support your staff by allowing them some time off to attend these events.

What about organising a simple Christmas shopping day’ rota? See if staff can co-ordinate their work to allow a couple of people in the team to come in a bit later on agreed days so they can hit the shops in the morning. Or allow employees some flexibility on ‘late night shopping’ days to finish a couple of hours early to avoid the rush.

Be Festive

Whether you are a Christmas Elf or a bit of a Scrooge – allow your staff to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to the workplace if they want to (they spend many hours at work each week). A tree and a few decorations can liven up the mood and make for a happy team.

Many businesses plan a Christmas party or meal. Go one step further and host a kid’s Christmas party for employees’ children. Maybe someone in the office would relish the chance to organise it? It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.


Some companies offer a Christmas Bonus to staff based on business performance during the year. If this isn’t viable then think of another way to reward staff; treats in the office, drinks after work or check out our ‘Perks’ blog and adapt some of those ideas.

Festive Alternatives

Secret Santa has lost its appeal for many UK workplaces. Employers are increasingly offering alternative ways to get staff involved in less frivolous giving at Christmas. Many companies now make a donation to a chosen charity in lieu of sending Christmas cards (which end up in the recycling). Ask staff to vote for a favourite local charity, or perhaps your business has selected a charity as part it’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.

Allow some of your staff time off to help with local charity events at Christmas; serving lunches, transporting older people to special events, collecting donations for local homeless groups, refuges or children’s charities.

This year, at Berry Rowan we are making a collection for our local homeless charity; filling a box with suitable items which we will deliver to a local collection point in December. It’s great way to support your local community and most towns and cities have an initiative in place.

Make sure you keep your staff and your business warm and welcoming during the dark, cold nights of winter.

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