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effectively manage internal communication stressLower stress and increase productivity in your office with these employee engagement ideas.

Shopping, decorating, planning, cooking, and maybe even packing...whew, my brain is running in circles, and I know I am not alone. It is that time of the year again. The temperatures are dropping, and stores are getting busier. Everyone is trying to squeeze in all their holiday shopping and baking before time runs out.

Too much stress in the office

All of this running around can also lead to more stress and less productivity at work. According to OfficeVibe, stress in the workplace is also on the rise during the holiday season. (Even during the non-holiday season, OfficeVibe reports that 33% of people feel that they are living in extreme stress . Can you image how high the percentage is during the holidays?)

You may view work as an escape from all of the planning that is going on at home, but in reality your brain is still running in circles. Your employees are the same way. They come into work thinking about their professional responsibilities for the day, and then their phone goes off. Instantly they are distracted and become more disengaged than ever.

How to get rid of the stress

Bringing the holidays into your office space sounds like a great idea, but it too can be distracting. All the sights, smells, and holiday sounds may be a bit too stimulating to maintain a productive holiday work environment.

Instead, here are four employee engagement ideas that are sure to increase productivity during this holiday season (and at any time during the year, too).

1. Extended Lunch

Many of your employees are shopping on Amazon, checking personal email, or planning personal events during their work hours. Can you blame them, though? There is a lot to get done. By extending their lunch for fifteen minutes every day, your employees will be encouraged to use this extra time to either relax or catch up on some of their holiday planning. Your employees will feel appreciated, and in return, your productivity in the office will increase.

2. Holiday Stress Balls

Stress has caused 54% of people to start a fight (OfficeVibe). With stress levels through the roof during the holidays, your employees need a way to channel their stress and take it out on something besides each other). Pass out holiday-themed stress balls so your staff can squeeze out their stress. Stress balls will also help soothe all your employees that need to keep their hands busy.

3. Free Massages

Invite a few masso-therapists to your office during lunch breaks. Now, you may be skeptical, but hear me out. The International Journal of Neuroscience tells us that just a simple chair massage can cause someone to have an increased level of alertness, lower anxiety, and lower levels of job stress and depression.

4. Say Thank You

Now this may seem too simple, but a personal “thank you” goes a long way. Thirty-nine percent of employees feel under-appreciated according to Inteli Speed. Ideas 1, 2, and 3 do show appreciation, but try sending out a personal message to your staff this holiday season that sincerely says thank you for all of their hard work.

And try making your message even more personal by calling out specific tasks that your team members did that went above and beyond the call of duty. It is effective to say thank you to someone for something they did; it is extremely beneficial to reward them by thanking them in front of others.

So whether you are publicly thanking your team or passing out stress balls this holiday season, show your team you care and boost employee engagement at the same time.

Looking for more tips on improving employee engagement? Take a look at our free checklist.

Employee Engagement Checklist Free Download

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