Keeping productivity and morale high during the busy holiday season can be tough. The stress of family commitments, holiday gatherings, and overloaded schedules can cause employees to be distracted. However, there are simple and cost-effective ways to reward your employees and keep them motivated while working toward year-end goals. \t Recognize a Job Well Done Saying thank you to your employees for a job well done can motivate and inspire your workforce. “There is a demonstrable link between thanks and motivation: 86 percent of employees say that being recognized motivates them in their job. So thank your employees for a job well done—and not just this holiday season but every day, year-round. The positive effect will be palpable,” says Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. \t Be Flexible in Your Scheduling It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most stressful. Having a little bit of flexibility in their work schedules can be a valued, stress-relieving perk for your employees. Whether it’s a late start, a chance to clock out a little early, or an extra day or two to work from home, having an adaptable schedule to meet the holiday needs of their families can help build employee loyalty. \t Offer Shipping Perks With the increase of online shopping and the worry of packages sitting unattended on doorsteps during the workday, encourage your employees to have personal gifts shipped directly to the office. In addition to protecting their packages from porch pirates, provide your employees an opportunity to wrap their gifts at work. Supply paper, tape, bows, and gift tags, turn on some holiday music, and create a festive atmosphere of teamwork that’s not associated with the hustle and bustle of their everyday work. \t Provide Service Opportunities Promote camaraderie and kindness by sponsoring a volunteer day. Organize serving at a homeless shelter or volunteering at a charity of the employees’ choice as a department- or company-wide effort. Consider participating in a sub-for-Santa, food bank, or other needs-based charity drive in lieu of or in addition to your annual holiday party. As a small business owner, you may not always have the resources to offer bonuses or gifts for the holidays. If that’s the case, it is important to keep communications open to dismiss any false expectations your employees may have. The holidays will also run more smoothly in your office if you communicate your year-end goals and let the team know when fellow employees will be taking time off.