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How to Increase Employee Engagement During the Holidays

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

2021 is almost coming to an end, which means that the holiday season is just around the corner. While the holidays are quickly approaching, it is essential to ensure that your employees remain engaged and motivated over this year’s holiday season and into the New Year.

Importance of employee engagement

Every company must have engaged employees. In the US, disengaged employees cost roughly $550 billion each year due to "lost productivity" (Gleeson, 2017). Engaged employees are enthusiastic, involved, driven for innovation, and have higher performance levels. They are loyal to their company, selfless, optimistic, and team-orientated, and will feel gratification and motivation at work. Studies show that when workplaces have engaged employees, it results in “41% lower absenteeism” (Guest Contributor, 2020).

Improve employee engagement over the holidays/motivate your employees to finish strong

There are activities that employers can take to increase their employee engagement over the holiday season. The holidays are known to be a time of giving. According to LinkedIn, 71% of employees say that volunteering helps to improve their well-being. Not only does volunteering improve your employee's well-being, but it enhances your company’s social consciousness (C, 2016). Employees that volunteered, 85% of them revealed improvements in their perception of the company they are working for. Employees can volunteer as a team to spend a day, or half or even a few hours to give back and help out their community.

Create fun activities, like secret Santa or white elephant to improve employee engagement (Randstad, 2019). Companies can give out Christmas gifts to their employees to show their appreciation (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021). According to LinkedIn, when employers reward their employees during the holidays, 50% notice improvements in the productivity levels in the New Year. Rewarding employees helps to improve your employee’s morale and shows them that they are valued (C, 2016). There is no doubt that the holiday season is a busy period for everyone. Offering flexibility for your employees helps to increase their engagement and productivity.

Near the end of the year, many of us run out of steam and lose motivation, and in the United Kingdom, 28% of employees say “they avoid taking on new work around the holiday period” (C, 2016).

Thanking your employees for their hard work will increase your employee’s motivation. A survey illustrates that 86% “of employees say that being recognized motivates them in their job” (Schiff, 2014). Employers can use holiday cards to show their gratification for their employees, which helps to increase their motivation and engagement. Additionally, encouraging your employees to take paid time off during the holiday season can help decrease their stress and increase their productivity.

Improve employee engagement all year round

It is important to remember that improving your employee’s engagement can be done all year round, and not just at the end of the year. For instance, increasing responsibility, autonomy, flexibility, and creating a work culture that supports growth can increase employee engagement. Recognition, rewards, and training can all be ways to enhance employee engagement. Studies show that 74% of employees wish that they gained more recognition for their work, and more than 80% of employees say that an attractive company is a company that fosters and has a high recognition work culture (Schwantes, 2021). Another way is to check in with your employees regularly, such as through feedback.

According to LinkedIn, “75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself” (Hyacinth, 2017).
"56% of employees would turn down a 10% raise to stay with a great boss” (Hyacinth, 2017).

Surveys are one way that allows employees to feel heard and valued. When your company does not consistently survey its employees, it signals to them that the company doesn’t care about their opinions. In other words, “employees value having a say even if they don’t get their way” (Judd et al., 2018). Employee engagement surveys allow employers to know whether or not their employees are happy and ultimately provide employee’s emotional insights. When companies respond and take action to the feedback, it helps increase retention, productivity, customer service and decrease absenteeism.

How we can help

We don’t believe in cookie-cutter employee surveys because every company is unlike the other. We allow you to customize:

1). Your survey questions and templates

2). Your survey length and frequency

3). Your dashboard and reports

What happens when you don’t know what to do with your employee engagement results? Our team can help you interpret your results and coach you, so you can take action to improve your employee engagement.

Retainify is an employee engagement and development software that offers a unified solution that allows you to track employee sentiment and measure engagement in real-time. Proactively identify issues that are preventing them from being their best at work. Improve business outcomes by improving the employee experience and enhancing company culture one feedback at a time. Turn Feedback into Action.

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday! - Retainify Team

Questions or Feedback?



  1. C, S. (2016, December 07). Christmas checklist: 5 fun ways to treat your employees this year! Retrieved December 07, 2021, from

  2. Gleeson, B. (2017, October 15). 5 Powerful Steps To Improve Employee Engagement. Retrieved December 01, 2021, from

  3. Guest Contributor. (2020, October 29). 10 Benefits of Employee Engagement Surveys. Retrieved November 09, 2021, from

  4. Hyacinth, B. (2017, December 27). Employees don’t leave Companies, they leave Managers. Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

  5. Indeed Editorial Team. (2021, November 3). 30 Great Employee Christmas Gifts. Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

  6. Judd, S., O'Rourke, E., & Grant, A. (2018, March 14). Employee Surveys Are Still One of the Best Ways to Measure Engagement. Retrieved November 09, 2021, from

  7. Kohll, A. (2017, November 21). Keeping Employees Engaged And Healthy Over The Holidays. Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

  8. Lytle, T. (2016, September 22). 7 Tips to Increase Employee Engagement Without Spending a Dime. Retrieved November 09, 2021, from

  9. Randstad. (2019, December 04). Ways to celebrate the holidays that aren’t throwing a formal holiday party. Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

  10. Schiff, J. L. (2014, December 02). 9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated and Productive During the Holidays. Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

  11. Schwantes, M. (2021, March 29). New Report: Half of Employees Plan to Leave Their Job This Year. Here's How Leaders Can Prevent Mass Turnover. Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

  12. SHRM. (n.d.). Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement. Retrieved November 09, 2021, from

  13. SHRM. (n.d.). Managing Employee Surveys. Retrieved November 09, 2021, from

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