Motivating your workforce to be more productive can prove arduous – especially as the warm embrace of the festive season moves ever closer. It’s vital, as a leader or business owner, that you’re able to inspire your team to success through this most convivial of seasons.

Improving the amount of output your staff achieves doesn’t have to mean you playing the role of drill sergeant. Making simple, effective changes to your business’s culture and the way in which it operates can impact productivity in ways you would never expect. Below, one of the North East’s premier packaging companies, R+R Packaging, have listed some ways you can keep your team on the right track as Santa’s sleigh draws ever closer.

Start tracking and awards

By purchasing and administering a time-tracking digital software tool, such as Harvest or Toggl, employees will work more efficiently and autonomously. It gives you the option for staff to be responsible for determining their own workloads – which makes people feel more confident and  trusting in their ability.

You can also be assured your staff are spending the allocated amount of time on each task, which is vital if you work with multiple clients across different sectors with varying budgets and deadlines. When staff are working more productively, it’s up to you as a leader to recognise their efforts. This is especially important if you have season-specific projects such as Christmas-themed food packaging orders or preparing for the Boxing Day sales.

Giving staff incentives to succeed, aside from their salary, is a sure way to get the most out of your workforce. Contemplate introducing bonuses, treats and days out to make your team feel recognised and appreciated – and make sure the Christmas party is an adequate reflection of how much you appreciate your staff.

Decor and organisation

While Christmas decorations are an obvious essential for this time of year, they shouldn’t get in the way of productivity. A 5-foot-tall strobe light Santa on your desk might be a little distracting, so keep it tasteful and minimal.

Once the festive season is over, consider decorating your workplace in a way which stimulates creativity and provokes problem-solving – both fundamental characteristics of productivity. Adorn the walls with motivational and positive quotes from thought-leaders and people of influence, and try to use pastel blue and green where possible. The colours evoke calm feelings in humans which in turn conjure a sense of being able and in control of their situation.

Create order in your company by adopting the use of shelves, labels and plastic packaging. By incorporating the aforementioned into your building, you can establish a system in which all members of the team are made aware of the location of everyday items – including everything from important documents and stationery to tangible equipment and data.

Provide a break-up area

It’s inevitable: sometimes, things just get too much to handle. De-stressing and taking a short break to recuperate your thoughts and energy is crucial for maintaining productivity and employee satisfaction, especially during a month which includes a Christmas shutdown. Encourage your employees to use their time out of work relaxing or engaging in positive activities such as sports and to take regular, short breaks during work – especially if they’re in front of a screen for long periods of time.

By incorporating a break-up area to your office design, employees are given temporary sanctuary from their workstations, tasks or projects. Kit out the break-up area with comfy sofas, bean bags, mince pies and festive games such as ping-pong or table-football. Also, try to use bright colours and position the area away from the main work field. This kind of space will add a splash of fun to working days in and around the main festive period – improving morale as a result.

The break-up area doesn’t have to be strictly used as a chill-out zone at all times, either. You could issue a rota and schedule brainstorming meetings in their for precise times. Having brainstorming sessions in an area like this is great for team-collaboration, as employees feel relaxed and more social.

We hope this article has persuaded you to trial or implement some or all of the above suggestions this Christmas – you’ll have a more harmonious office as a result, well into 2019.

Merry Christmas!

Author bio:

Elizabeth Raw works for R+R Packaging, providers of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials for businesses within a wide variety of industries.