With thousands of people returning to work today while others remain at home, Investors in People has warned bosses they will have to work hard to motivate their staff at this time to avoid resentment building up and spilling over into the New Year.
With many employees, particularly in the retail, health and services sector not benefiting from this year’s four-day break at all, Investors in People has advised managers to take simple steps to avoid being seen as a Scrooge.
More importantly, taking such action can ensure that staff are kept motivated and productive during the period
Chief executive Ruth Spellman said: “Christmas is one of the busiest and most stressful calendar periods, given staff shortages and increased customer and service user demand.
"It is also the one time of the year when almost all staff expect to be given a break to celebrate with their loved ones. For many employees the reality is very different which means that managers need to guard against resentment and low motivation to a greater extent than at any other period of the year.”
Its first tip is to welcome your staff back to work and ask them how they are, whether this is on the 27 December or when the masses return to work in the New Year.
A recent survey by the organisation found more than half - 58 per cent - of employees questioned just wanted their boss to show they cared, including 44 per cent who said that a simple “welcome back” after a break would increase their motivation.
Be visible to your staff over the holiday period, make sure they see that you’re on call too.
Thank your staff if they offer to work at anti-social times and ensure that their contribution is recognised in their annual appraisal, it advised.
Allow staff to make up an extra half an hour at lunch time earlier or later in the day, to ensure they get plenty of time to shop for sales bargains. Give your staff first refusal on holiday dates in 2005, it added.
”We’re not suggesting that employers dish out extra pay and benefits, because we know employees are motivated by much more than pay. It’s the smaller touches that can help workers warm to the task and leave the holiday blues behind - boosting their contribution to the organisation as a result,” added Spellman.