3 Tools to Boost Employee Engagement During the Holiday Season - Dignify
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3 Tools to Boost Employee Engagement During the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 6, 2023 - Joe Kiedinger

The holiday lights are glowing, the Christmas trees are going up, snow is falling… it can only mean one thing. Holiday season is finally here! As a Fun Country resident, I just love this time of the year. It’s hard to beat the holiday spirit, Christmas classics, and time with those you love.

Unfortunately, not everyone experiences the holiday season with optimism. You can see it firsthand in the workplace. You might have some staff members practically jumping for joy, engaging constantly with their co-workers, and producing excellent work all at once. And on the other hand, you might have others employees who become visibly less motivated, more disconnected from those around them, and perhaps go through an uncharacteristic drop in their production quality.

According to a survey I saw by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, this isn’t just common, it’s normal. Out of 300 people surveyed, 75% reported that holidays contributed to feeling sadness, 66% experienced loneliness, and 57% felt unrealistic expectations. So, what can we do with this information as leaders?

Where to Start

When this time of the year rolls around, it’s very important that we as leaders go out of our way to check in with our team and keep tabs on how they’re doing. It’s a busy time of year and so often, internal meetings are the first to be canceled when things get hectic. Feeling the time crunch? Keep those 1x1s on the books, but make them more brief.

Supporting employee engagement all starts with awareness. The holiday season isn’t the best time of the year for everybody. Within your teams and those around you, look for signs (like the ones I listed above) that they might be going through something. When you see those signs in someone, don’t judge, question them, or assume their situation. Instead, be empathetic to what they might be experiencing and do what you can to let them know you’re there for them.

You’re likely pressed for time, so it’s important to be intentional about doing this, otherwise you run the risk of missing the opportunity and letting your team members go unsupported.

Your Toolbox

There are a lot of ways to provide your team support during the holidays. For example:

  • Regular conversation

Sometimes it’s the unplanned moments that have the biggest impact. Passing someone in the hallway? Take a minute to ask how they’re doing and really tune in. Put your next task out of mind for a moment. Your engagement and attention show them that they matter.

  • Dignify Snapshots

If you have access to the Dignify system, take another look at someone’s Snapshot and remind yourself what motivates them. Whenever it feels right, make them aware of something they did that you appreciated. For example, if their Top 5 is Precise, point to something they did where you saw their precision shine through, and they’ll feel valued. If they have Dry Sense of Humor, joke around with them a bit, it’ll brighten their day up.

  • Check-Ins

Schedule a Dignify Check-In with a person and connect with them on the deep level that this tool offers. Play a fun game or dive into their Snapshot elements and just let the conversation flow. Use this as an opportunity to support their dignity, remind them of their worthiness, and give them the uplifting fulfillment they might need.

In the joy and high spirits of our holiday season, let’s not lose sight of the fact that all of us are different people with different experiences at different points in our lives. For us as leaders, this means that we always need to be aware that no matter what’s going on, some of those in our care might need that bit of extra support to keep them motivated, engaged, and dignified.


ACTION PLAN: Are you a Dignify subscriber? Review your team’s Snapshots and schedule a Check-In with those who could use a lift! Not a subscriber? Learn more about Dignify here.

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