Home Business & Industry 58% of Business Owners Struggle to Maintain Staff Productivity in December

58% of Business Owners Struggle to Maintain Staff Productivity in December

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Money.co.uk business bank accounts experts surveyed 500 small business owners about the Christmas season and how they thanked their employees for their hard work over the last year.

With December being one of the busiest times for many small businesses, and over half (56%) of respondents saying the holidays and the change in customer habits and supplier trading make their business better, it’s important to keep staff motivated and productive during December to take full advantage of this. 

Sickness is rife, with over half (52%) of respondents saying they struggled to trade in December due to employee sickness, plus 58% of business owners said they had to set tighter deadlines to maintain productivity from their staff 

So how can small business owners keep staff motivated over the holiday season?

Christmas parties 

Holding a Christmas party for staff is a great way to boost morale and employee bonding at the end of the year. Over 3 in 5 (62%) respondents are having a Christmas party this year for their employees (a 6% increase from last year) and will be spending on average £31 per head. On average, respondents said they spend £29 on other employee events or parties per head (not during the festive period), implying that keeping morale high at the end of the year when many staff are tired and running on empty is important to employers.

Holiday allowance

Giving employees an extra holiday over Christmas is one of the ways employers can show staff their appreciation. Just under half (49%) of respondents are giving their employees extra holiday this Christmas period that’s not part of their contracted holiday entitlement. Furthermore, 46% of respondents will close their offices between Christmas and the New Year.

When it comes to this perk, it seems younger small business owners are more willing to award extra time off to employees, with over 3 in 5 (63%) respondents aged 25–34 giving their employees extra holiday this Christmas period that’s not part of their contracted holiday entitlement, compared to 2 in 5 (40%) respondents aged 45–54.

Christmas bonuses

Another perk sure to spark motivation and a strong start to the new year is rewarding employees with a Christmas bonus.

Just under half (49%) of respondents are giving their employees a bonus this year, while over 2 in 5 (43%) are not.

Again, the age of business owners seems to be a factor in this. Almost 3 in 5 (59%) respondents aged 25–34 said they will be giving their employees a bonus this year, yet under half (47%) of those aged 45–54 said the same.

The average pre-tax bonus given to employees was £5,265.81.

Expert top tips: how to start the new year strong

Kyle Eaton, money.co.uk business bank accounts expert, gives his tips on how small business owners can ensure they start the new year strong after the festive break.

The key to a strong start to a new year lies in embracing change, leveraging emerging trends, and being adaptable to position your business in the best possible stead for the year ahead.

  • Strategic vision. Develop a clear vision for the year, aligning business goals with market trends and opportunities.
  • Innovation integration. Infuse innovation into your operations, products, and services, staying ahead of industry expectations.
  • Actionable resolutions. Transform resolutions into tangible action plans, ensuring a seamless transition from strategic intent to operational excellence.
  • Resilience at its core. Foster a resilient organisational culture that adapts to challenges, turning setbacks into stepping stones for growth.
  • Creative ingenuity. Cultivate a culture of creativity and ingenuity, encouraging employees to contribute fresh ideas and approaches.
  • Agile adaptability. Embrace change proactively, staying agile and responsive to evolving market dynamics and customer needs.
  • Trend awareness. Stay abreast of emerging trends and technologies, positioning your business as a frontrunner in the ever-evolving business landscape.

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