Top Tips To Engage Your Employees This Christmas

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • Tips to engage employees this Christmas.
  • How to make employees feel valued.
  • How to celebrate Christmas with staff.
  • How to reward and recognise employees this Christmas.
  • Where the latest jobs are and how to apply for them.

They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, if your business is open and your employees need to work over the holiday season, it can be difficult to engage employees who might want to be elsewhere! 

If you’re looking for ways to be Christmas ready and engage your employees, read on for some tinsel covered tips! We’ll uncover how to provide incentives and encourage staff participation to make your staff feel valued, and create opportunities for them to celebrate together during the festive season.

Ways to engage your employees this Christmas

During the darker, colder months, it can be difficult to inspire and motivate staff. However, there are lots of ways to get employees into the Christmas spirit and engaged with their work. Small gestures or kind Christmas acts can make employees connect with their coworkers and continue to feel motivated and engaged.

Even just having a box of chocolates for the office to nibble on during the festive season, or handing out Christmas cards, can keep employers feeling festive as well as active and engaged.

Keep productivity and spirits high by making small changes at your organisation that allow some Christmas sparkle without overwhelming or distracting employees.

How to make employees feel valued this Christmas

Christmas is a time to appreciate those around you and see the value in what people do. Employees want to be on their manager's nice list and feel there is value in their time and efforts beyond just doing their job well.

The ability to make an employee feel seen, supported and part of something bigger than themselves is crucial especially at Christmas. So, why not recognise employee achievements and success over the past year? You could host a Christmas awards ceremony, rewarding employees for their achievements and success in an informal celebration ceremony.

Recognise and reward employees for reaching their targets, going above and beyond or for supporting a charity. It’s a chance to celebrate others and if you want to go all out, dress up in glitz, glamour and tinsel and hand out prizes!

Maybe throw in some funny office awards like Office Scrooge or Santa’s Little Helper for the biggest Christmas enthusiast. Allow staff to nominate each other to allow some healthy competition, encourage communications and boost morale around the office.

How do you celebrate Christmas with staff?

Here are some great ways to celebrate Christmas with staff:

  • Decorate the office - a few decorations can help create a festive atmosphere and you can reuse them every year!
  • Play Christmas music - If appropriate, allow employees to play Christmas music to inject some upbeat positivity into the office. 
  • Organise a Christmas event - Celebrate with staff by organising a Christmas party, going to the Christmas markets or watching a Christmas film. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, just an activity to keep staff excited and boost morale.
  • Play games or quizzes - Host a Christmas quiz or play some festive games to give employees a break from work and the chance to work together and have fun.
  • Organise a Secret Santa - This arrangement ensures that everyone receives a present and has fun guessing who was assigned who and what presents were picked. Setting an amount to spend allows it to be fairer, more personal or sometimes just silly and fun.
  • Christmas clothes - Allow staff to dress festive or more informally in the run up to Christmas. Take part in Christmas Jumper day on Friday 7 December to bring a bit of fun into the office and raise some more for charity at the same time! According to Save the Children, over 24,000 workplaces took part in Christmas Jumper Day last year and raised a total of £5 million for children, including £2 million of match funding from the UK government.

How do I get my employees to participate?

Participating in some Christmas merriment can be a good distraction for employees at a time when budgets are tight, workload is high and the cost of living crisis is set to take its toll on Christmas spending. 

According to research by Accenture, almost two thirds of UK adults are planning to cut back on spending this Christmas. To bring joy and a good distraction this Christmas, employers can implement a variety of tools to make spirits bright and employers feel recognised and appreciated.

By offering incentives and opportunities for employees to be rewarded for hitting goals or targets, you can increase contributions and productivity at your organisation. Offering incentives or prizes such as an extra day off work or a gift voucher, can motivate employees more and encourage them to participate in competitions, games or awards.

Competitions and incentives are a great way to encourage employees to participate in Christmas festivities and keep productivity high and business flowing. No matter what or how your employees celebrate, this can give everyone the chance to take part in a bit of fun.

How do you reward employees for Christmas?

Ways to reward employees for Christmas include:

  • Offer flexibility over the Christmas period.
  • Take your staff out for a festive lunch or a drink.
  • Play a Christmas quiz or games.
  • Introduce an office advent calendar.

Offer flexibility over the Christmas period

This may depend on whether Christmas is a busy or slow period for your business and whether hybrid or remote work is possible. For some it is the busiest time of the year, but some small businesses close during this period. If you can, allow your staff to leave early on Christmas Eve or give them the option to work from home to reduce the cost of commuting 

and avoid traffic or busy public transport.

Take your staff out for a festive lunch or a drink

This can be cheaper and more informal than a big Christmas party and may mean more workers are able to join in. It’s a great option as everyone gets treated the same with the opportunity to spend time with employees and get to know each other better.

Play a Christmas quiz or games

Foster a positive work environment and a culture that is fun and happy. Play games, quizzes or dress up in the office for a bit of positivity and merriment in the office. A break from work for an hour can boost morale and be a fun reward.

Introduce an office advent calendar

Advent calendars, either real or virtual for a bit of fun and distraction in the office. Countdown the days until Christmas by providing a little bit of nostalgia for big kids and chocolate lovers!

What is a good reward for an employee?

Great present ideas for employees include:

  • Keep it simple, affordable and fair by giving your employees a gift such as a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine. According to One4All Rewards 35% of corporate gifts are food and drink-based, making them the most popular type of gift to buy for employees in the UK. Chocolate is a staple at Christmas and no one can say no to a treat during the festive season!
  • A traditional hamper filled with a variety of goodies or if you have a small team, you may be able to make your present a little more personal by linking it to their interests.
  • Vouchers or gift cards are a great reward as they can be used either online or in store and for various items, products or activities. They also give employees the opportunity to choose what they spend their voucher on.
  • Flexible working and time off. It is a meaningful and appreciated award that recognises the importance of giving employees time off to relax and recover, or flexibility to juggle other responsibilities.
  • Wellness incentives are becoming increasingly important to employees as they can benefit mental health and well being. Incentives such as free gym memberships, yoga classes or food subscription services would be really appreciated especially if finances are low or constraint.

Should bosses give gifts to employees on Christmas?

Nobody wants to be a Scrooge at work, but giving a gift to all employees isn’t always practical or affordable. A survey by Blackhawk Network revealed that 46% of employees don’t expect a gift from their employer during the festive season and it isn’t a requirement either.

However, Blackhawk Network also found that nearly 9 in 10 employees would like to receive a gift from their employer for Christmas. 

If employers decide to give gifts, they have to ensure the gifts are equal and fair and that they are beneficial to employees in some way. Managers don’t want to be accused of favouritism or seem to be punishing or rewarding some more than others.

While a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine is a nice gesture, some employees might prefer to receive money or gift cards so they can choose their own gifts.

Should staff get a Christmas bonus?

Christmas is a time for giving, and a bonus is a great way to show appreciation to employees, especially considering the financial and emotional struggles for some at Christmas time. 

A bonus shows employees that you value their work and appreciate their contributions. It is also a great motivator to encourage hard work and ensure targets are met! Although there is no statutory obligation for an employer to provide Christmas bonuses to staff, it depends on the terms of the employees contract. However, a Christmas bonus needs to be planned and properly thought out, as underpaying an employee or making them feel cheated out of a bonus, would have the opposite impact!

Not all employers can afford to provide bonuses, therefore it is important to clearly communicate to employees that you are not offering a bonus this Christmas. Be clear with employees about why it isn’t possible and don’t let them assume that it’s because they’re on the naughty list or that they don’t deserve it.

It’s also more important to communicate praise and appreciation in a positive culture and not just provide rewards and bonuses for the sake of Christmas. Employees would appreciate being recognised for their achievement, and a Christmas bonus would be just that, an added bonus!

Searching for a new job in the new year?

If you’re searching for a new job in 2024, why not take a look at our job page to find what opportunities are available. Or, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will be in touch if any relevant opportunities arise. 

Recruiting in 2024?

If you’re struggling to fill a role at your organisation, why not check out all the recruitment services available? We have a team of specialist consultants who will be able to alleviate any recruitment challenges which you’re facing. 

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Based in the North West, we are driven by our ability to defy expectations and innovate the recruitment industry. When we do business, our clients, candidates and staff are at the forefront of our aims and concerns.

From matching candidates to the perfect role, to ensuring their mental health, standard of living and work life balance is a priority, we are passionate about having a positive impact.

We are unwavering in our commitment to supporting individuals aiming to change careers and enterprises seeking unprecedented growth. 

As we continue to evolve, we are passionate about shaping a more fulfilling and engaging future that deeply resonates and influences.

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

© Spencer Clarke Group 2023
Site by Venn