How to Boost Employee Morale at Christmas During a Pandemic

christmas cheer

Written by Hayley Biggs

2020 has not quite lived up to expectations. We’ve been locked up at home for months on end, away from loved ones, terrified of coughs and sneezes, forced to wear masks and most of us have had some kind of wedding, event or holiday cancelled. But don’t let all this dampen you or your team's Christmas spirits - if anything can combat low employee morale, it's Chriiiiistmas (and yes we wanted you to read that like Slade's ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’). We bet that made you feel slightly more festive already.

In this article, we’re going to banish the 2020 blues and outline how you can boost employee morale this Christmas during the COVID-19 pandemic. So what are you waiting for? Pump up your Christmas playlist and let’s dive right in.

sweet treats

Spritz up offices with holiday decorations 

No, we’re not just suggesting this because it’s an easy win. It’s been scientifically proven that festive décor is a morale booster. A study by workplace interior landscaping company Ambius found 85% of employees agreed that Christmas décor had a positive impact on their mood whilst they were at work. What’s more interesting is that nine out of ten UK office managers and business owners said they believe festive décor had a positive impact on employee wellbeing.

If you’re back in the office this is easily done - grab a Christmas tree (big or small) and sprinkle a few decorations around the desks and communal areas to improve employee morale. If your staff are still working remotely, why not send them some mini festive desk accessories? It'll do wonders for staff morale while also improving your employees' work environment. These are easy to buy online and are all fairly cheap if you're on a budget. Just head over to AmazonEtsy or eBay where you’ll find mini Christmas trees, tiny lanterns and festive desk decorations.  

christmas lights

Spread Christmas cheer with festive facemasks

Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant facemasks are going to be with us for the foreseeable future. Why not give your employees a Christmas gift of a festive face mask to improve employee morale. Head over to Google and you’ll be presented with hundreds of different options to get your staff in the Christmas mood. Queue the eye rolls...but hear us out. There is some meaning behind what seems like another cheap attempt to piggyback off the pandemic. 

You can turn something which is otherwise bleak, emotionless and restrictive into something which is warming, festive and fun. These will boost team morale by making your employees feel a little more warm and fuzzy every time they reach for these mandatory face coverings. It will also do wonders for your customer experience. A BBC article explained how concealing the mouth is problematic when you want to come across as approachable. This was why nurses and doctors pinned smiling pictures of themselves to their uniform to ease anxiety and create a positive atmosphere during the pandemic. Swap out the facemasks for Christmas alternatives to break down that barrier, make customers feel at ease and say goodbye to low morale. Do you take your eye roll back now? 

festive facemask

Send employee care packages to show your appreciation 

Nothing creates high morale at Christmas time like sending your employees a little gift. And we’re sure you’ll agree if there's a year to reward your employees for their hard work, it's this year. Lift festive spirits in your workplace by sending employees a thoughtful care package. At Thriving Box Co. we put together bespoke, personalised care packages for managers and their teams, delivered straight to their doors. If you're still on-site, you can get these luxurious packages sent straight to your workplace. These aren’t like other Christmas hampers where any old things are tossed in for good measure. No, no, no these are hand-picked, high-quality goodies from independent businesses throughout the UK. And we're sure they'll put a smile on every employees' face this Christmas. We can even feature your company branding on our entirely recyclable packaging!

This Christmas we’ve also put together a selection of luxurious festive care packages which include everything from festive biscuits, gingerbread cake and winter spiced hot chocolate to Christmas inspired cocktail kits (mulled wine and cider), scented candles and bath treats. Exactly what your employees need after a year of hard work. We think you'll agree that nothing boosts work morale like the sweet smell of mulled wine and Christmas spice. 

festive care packages

Ramping up the recognition works wonders for employee morale

Employee recognition does wonders for employee morale and work performance and shouldn’t be overlooked during the Christmas period. A survey by Reward Gateway found that a staggering 70% of employees say motivation and morale would improve with appreciation from managers. 59% of employees would rather work for an organisation with a culture where they received recognition over a higher salary job where they didn’t get any recognition. Which goes to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create positive employee morale at Christmas time.

holiday cheer

To create a culture of recognition and a positive work environment you should:

  • Announce employee achievements on your company intranet, email or messaging platform (phone, Slack, employee platform). 
  • Make sure you are giving thanks where it’s due. Send positive messages to your employees on the platforms mentioned above or say it face to face if you can.
  • Send Christmas cards with reasons why you are proud of a particular employee and what work they have done that has impressed you during the year. 

Send Christmas 'memes of the week' to encourage laughter and festive positivity 

Who doesn’t love a meme to cheer them up when they are feeling blue? Why not take these light-hearted spirit lifters and use them to combat low employee morale in the workplace this Christmas. You can make ‘inside jokes’ with Christmas themed backgrounds which will make your employees laugh and most definitely improve employee morale at work when times feel tough. They’ll also make your employees feel immersed in positive workplace culture, no matter where they're working. Imgflip allows you to easily create memes in seconds, meaning they don’t have to take up much of your time. The hard part will be trying to think of the witty jokes to put on them... we'll leave that up to you!

funny work meme

The pandemic may well change Christmas as we know it for 2020, but that doesn’t mean that employee morale has to suffer. In times of struggle, your employees will look to you to be the beacon of light that gives confidence and positivity to everyone. Boosting employee morale at Christmas should be on the top of your agenda this year so be sure to put some of our festive tips into action.