Productivity Wanes This Time of Year - 5 Ways to Beat the Seasonal Slump

Heading into the holidays, people are thinking about Thanksgiving plans, Christmas shopping, family feasts, parties, and presents. What they’re not thinking about is work.

Research shows that productivity wanes from October onwards as employees begin the seasonal countdown to Christmas. Unfortunately for managers, motivation doesn’t pick up again until the new year, leaving a three-month stretch when your team is not performing at its best.

Getting over the holiday hump means going the extra mile to boost morale and incentivize your employees. A good exercise at any time of year, paying attention to how your staff is performing during this last quarter, helps managers develop their leadership skills, hit their targets, and help their team fulfill their potential.

5 ways to boost year-end productivity

1. Plan social activities

Research shows that social connections improve employee performance, so now’s the time to nurture those crucial bonds between colleagues. As the year ends, think about how to encourage team collaboration in a way that’s fun, relaxed, and informal. This could mean weekly coffee mornings, activities like a quiz or games day, or a secret santa event.

Social activities are a little trickier if you’re managing a hybrid or remote team, but not impossible. Using tech tools, you can still get everyone together in a virtual meeting space or messaging platform where they can share videos and chat online, and have just as much fun

2. Reward hard work

Recognizing your team’s hard work and rewarding their efforts is a powerful morale-booster that can incentivize them to push through the holiday jetlag. 

Of course, recognizing employee accomplishments shouldn’t be left until the end of the year, but this is the time when a little extra praise can go a long way. You can even combine it with a social event - planning an ‘awards ceremony’ that highlights individual achievements, or running a competition to crown the best team.

3. Give breaks where possible

Work may be tailing off as the year winds down, with clients closing up and deadlines easing. If that’s the case, take the opportunity to give your team a break. They’ve been working hard all year and would welcome the break. Giving them a few hours to refresh and recharge on a slow afternoon will also ensure they come back to their desk with renewed enthusiasm.

4. Consider closing

Mid-December can be a quiet time but if things are really slack around the office, consider closing up shop for the year and giving your employees a well-deserved and lengthy holiday break. 

The boost in morale and wellbeing will last long after New Years, giving your team the motivation they need to hit the ground running in the new year.

5. Embrace the season

All too often, workplaces ignore the holidays, seeing them as an inconvenience rather than a time of festive celebration. This signals that managers are more concerned with deadlines and targets than workplace wellness and, at a time when employees are rethinking the work/life balance, it’s not a smart strategy.

There’s no fighting the festive season so managers should learn to embrace it. Plan a workplace holiday party, organize a gift exchange, do a charity gift drive - whatever you do, incorporate the holidays into your company culture so everyone can enjoy them. 

By designating certain days or times for holiday activities, you also set clear boundaries for employees about when they need to focus on their workload, and when they can let loose and get into the holiday spirit.

Employee Productivity Monitoring (EPM) solution Prodoscore helps managers gauge their team’s productivity all year round, giving real-time visibility into how employees are using company tools. The unobtrusive monitoring platform compiles productivity data into a single dashboard so admins can see at a glance individual and team productivity scores, and how they compare over time. To schedule a demonstration or learn more, contact Prodoscore today.

How will visibility impact your business?