Business owners know that the holidays arrive quickly every year — Halloween is right around the corner! When navigated properly though, the holidays can be a solid revenue boosting opportunity. Experimenting with festive menu items and hosting holiday parties are just a few ways to capitalize on the joyous season. However, it can be easy to lose sight of one particular group who may be less than thrilled to work while others are celebrating: your employees. 

Let’s face it: we all want to spend time with family and friends during the holiday season, and working when we’d rather be sipping hot cocoa can certainly lower morale. November and December can feel like a sprint to the finish line, which sometimes provokes the tendency to slack off. 

If an employee feels overworked by the added stressors of the holiday season, the end of the year could sound like a good time to quit. The phrase “new year new me” often applies to career paths too, not just a revamped skincare regimen! Making sure that your employees are appreciated for their hard work is even more crucial during the holiday months and can greatly reduce your establishment’s turnover rates. Take a look at these six-cost effective ways to keep employee morale high this upcoming holiday season.  

Offer Holiday Bonuses For Full-Time Staff

Ah, the good old holiday bonus – often dreamed of by employees, but rarely a reality. This simple gesture can go a long way in reassuring employees that they’re valued, and that their strong work ethic doesn’t go unnoticed! You don’t have to break the bank by handing out bonuses either. Stick to your full-time employees whose loyalty to the company is crucial. 

Provide a Festive Spread

There’s no such thing as being too old for a gingerbread cookie. Ensuring that your restaurant is stocked with festive holiday snacks and beverages during the season is an easy way to bring some cheer to staff. Got a liquor license? Try out spiked eggnog or hot chocolate night with your employees after closing. If the beverages turn out well, add them to your holiday menu. If not, consider it a jolly team bonding experience!

Decorate the Workplace

The restaurant business places a hefty emphasis on presentation, and holiday decorations provide that highly sought after warm feeling during the season. But it’s easy to forget that employees have a keen eye for your establishment’s aesthetics too – they do spend a good part of their days there after all! Decorating for the holiday season benefits customers and employees alike. Try recruiting a “decorating committee” from your staff to get everybody involved. 

Host a Holiday Party

You’ve tackled the snacks, drinks, and decorations, so why not host a party? A holiday work party is a great excuse to get all of your employees together for a fun-filled gathering. Partake in gift exchange games like Secret Santa or have everyone bring in their best homemade dessert. There are plenty of holiday party activities to look forward to other than sipping champagne. Don’t forget the ugly sweater contest!

Hand Out Employee Gifts

Small gifts that aren’t yearly bonuses are a thoughtful idea for business owners. Sweet treats, gift cards, and festive trinkets are purchases that can be found almost anywhere and don’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. If you want to take it one step further, wrap your presents and include a personalized message for each of your employees.

Better Your Community Together

Hosting a food drive at your restaurant and volunteering with staff are team-bonding activities that strengthen a community. The holidays are a time of giving and selflessness, but this can be easy to forget when added work stressors arrive. For businesses with a rather competitive staff, try enticing workers with a reward for whoever brings in the most canned goods for your food drive.