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Five Low-Cost Ways to Ease Holiday Stress and Boost Office Morale

Dec 6, 2021 9:00:00 AM
By Linda Trzyna

in Management, Employee Retention, Employer

‘Tis the season for holiday carols about joy and good cheer. But if your workers are stressed by end-of-the-year deadlines and stretched to their limits because of staff shortages, cheer may be the least of their emotions.

Luckily, there are ways to reduce workplace tension, improve morale and strengthen team dynamics.

“If people feel good about their team, they’ll work seamlessly towards a common goal. Alternatively, when a company lacks morale, it will suffer,” says Justworks.

Teamwork Outside of Work

Many offices have holiday traditions focused on community support. Think food drives for a local pantry, a clothing collection for a homeless shelter or toy collection for underprivileged kids. Or consider taking half a day together to serve holiday meals at a community center.

Other ways to get to know each other outside of work might include organizing a trivia night at a local restaurant, a games night or field trip to a local attraction. If your team is still working remotely, schedule a virtual Coffee Hour or Happy Hour where shop talk is off limits.

Officevibe says “team building activities … promote the importance of workplace friendships. This helps improve the dynamics of your team, a crucial element to boosting employee morale.”

Gift of Time

If your staff can’t find time during the busy holiday season to gather socially – give them some. Offer them a half-day off for holiday shopping or enable them to work from home occasionally.

“Employees wholeheartedly appreciate when they are given a chance to take a breather after a long period of high stress,” says Chron.

Recognize and Reward

Every employee hopes their hard work is recognized. Effective employers regularly acknowledge their staff through awards ceremonies, social media posts and other public accolades. During the holidays, make it personal. Give a gift to each member of your team, along with a hand-written note thanking them for their contributions. Be as specific as possible so they know you have noticed their efforts. Of course, a holiday bonus certainly would underscore your appreciation!

Put Your Best Food Forward

At the office, food is always welcome! Bring in donuts or bagels. Order pizza or tacos. Host a soup and salad bar. Hold a potluck lunch or staff pie baking contest. Organize a holiday cookie sale or bake sale and donate any money raised to a good cause.

“If your team is working from home, send them surprise lunch deliveries,” says LinkedIn. “Your gesture will work wonders in keeping your employees happy and loyal to your business.”

Deck the Halls

Just as sparkling holiday lights brighten our neighborhoods, decorations also can lighten the mood at the office. Schedule an hour to decorate the lobby together -- or host a workspace decorating contest among staff. Think outside of the (holiday gift) box. How about a winter wonderland theme, retro, international or floral theme – or designs based on a favorite movie, TV show or children’s book?

Given the challenges brought about by the pandemic, most work teams could use a break. Fun group activities can improve morale and motivation, keeping your team intact and your projects moving in a positive direction.


TPD’s Total Workforce Solution addresses all of your talent acquisition needs – including direct hire and contingent workers – and employment relationship management, reducing your costs and freeing you up to focus on business. Contact us today for your workforce solution!

Filed under Management, Employee Retention, Employer

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