Employees focus on Christmas instead of work

More than two-thirds of UK employees (68%) think their colleagues are less productive at work during the Christmas period, according to a new survey. 

The poll, conducted for Investors in People (IiP) by polling firm YouGov, shows that the problem is widespread across the UK, with workers in London scoring highest in the seasonal slowdown ratings (77%).

YouGov interviewed more than 2,500 working adults throughout the UK and Ireland in July and August this year.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of IiP UK, said: “While it’s important to keep staff focused to ensure the job gets done over the Christmas period, no-one wants a Grinch for a manager. 

“The key to getting the best from your staff at a time when they may be distracted by planning for Christmas is to ensure they continue to enjoy coming to work. Wise men and women understand that staff motivation is vital to all-year-round prosperity.”

Businesses with more than 250 employees are most likely to suffer from seasonal slowdown (70%) but growing companies are also vulnerable (67%). 

To stem staff sluggishness, IiP is urging bosses to keeping employee spirits high with six top tips.

  • Promote healthy working by making time to check in with staff. Make sure they are not struggling in to work with a nasty cold or flu, or suffering from lack of proper cover or support
  • Ensure any extra time staff work over Christmas is logged in their next review and make sure your employees know it has been noted 
  • Don’t be a Scrooge – if you’re not awarding bonuses, why not at least give each member of staff working over Christmas a small festive gift as a token of appreciation 
  • Show your own face – if you’re not prepared to put in the hours during the festive period, how can you expect your team to deliver? 
  • Think outside the Christmas box – allow your staff to take an extra half hour at lunchtime for present buying and make up the time at the start or end of the day
  • Pay extra attention to those employees who work shifts during the Christmas period Bank Holidays – at a time when everyone else is celebrating with friends and family, it is important that managers keep staff motivated in their work.

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