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10 CEOs Share Their Secrets To Keeping Employees Motivated (And Happy) In December

The weeks leading up to the holidays are full of distractions, so we found bosses that successfully keep everyone both happy and productive.​

The month of December, perhaps more than any other time of the year, is the ultimate tightrope act for bosses. Be too loose with keeping your employees on track and risk hurting business. But be too strict and face coming off as a Grinch, and possibly damage employee morale long after the holidays have ended.

So how can business leaders motivate employees to stay productive and motivated during the holidays? We spoke to 10 CEOs across myriad industries to reveal their best practices.

Here’s what they had to say, in their own words:

Celebrating Successes, Relieve Stress and Have Fun Together at a Holiday Party

“This time of year is especially busy for our business, with our entire team working extra hard to sell, produce, and ship out product in time for the holidays. This can mean working late nights and weekends to make sure everything goes smoothly. We strive to reward and balance this extra effort with positive recognition of everyone’s contributions, extra time off once the work is successfully completed, and of course having fun together as a team with a big holiday party. This year in particular, we’re going to a nearby fun park where we can relieve any built-up stress with laser tag or a competitive go-kart race. We’re true believers in ‘work hard, play hard,’ getting things done and celebrating successes together.”
— Mark Buff, CEO of Mohu the Cord Cutting Company

Provide Adequate Time Off for Every Holiday (Not Just Christmas)

“Providing adequate time off to allow employees to recognize holidays and volunteer opportunities are important. I encourage employees to recognize the various holiday periods and respect the time off that is needed to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, to name a few. I also provide employees with the opportunity to take paid time off to volunteer in their communities, and our culture committee works with each facility to arrange food and/or clothing donations or to adopt a local family in need. I found that when employees are able to spend time with family or to care for others in need, that is the motivator that gets them through the stress of the holiday season.”
— Tim Estes, CEO of cognitive computing company Digital Reasoning

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