How to Boost Employee Retention during the Busy Holiday Season – and Beyond

Employee retention sticky note underlined as important.

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Successful companies value their employees, and they show their appreciation beyond good wages and salaries. 

Positive work culture is essential to promote productivity and improve staff retention, as it keeps employees motivated and engaged. This can be especially important at the end of the year when most people are reconsidering their career paths or switching jobs. 

There are things you can do to help increase the chances of your employees sticking with you and to foster a growth mindset in the new year.

6 Ways to boost employee retention during the busy holiday season

Here are six strategies you can use at the end of the year to boost employee retention and avoid burnout during the busy holiday season.

1. Encourage employee-led initiatives

Satisfaction survey with smiley box checked

Employee retention starts with good communication. 

According to a Gallup Report, 64% of employees are disengaged in the workplace, which affects employee performance and contributes to low workplace morale. 

That’s why it is vital to encourage employees to engage and participate in discussions. This can mean anything from gathering opinions on business operations to deciding on the travel destination for the year-end company trip. 

Use a survey to gather feedback

Sometimes, it is easier for employees to outline how they feel in an anonymous survey. 

During the end of the year, send out a survey to your team and get their honest feedback on business operations. Ask them about their thoughts on their workload and work efficiency.

If a team member has a great idea on how to do things better, don’t let your pride get in the way. Take the feedback to heart and use it to make improvements. 

When employees see that their ideas are being implemented, they feel more connected to the business, which can boost employee retention. 

2. Provide professional training and personal growth

Smiling female employees at training

The ideal company should be a place for growth. Your employees should be clearly aware of their career opportunities and experience personal growth throughout the year. 

Employees can feel unfulfilled and unmotivated when the company isn’t growing or if their jobs become repetitive or redundant.

Especially as employees today are constantly on the hunt for opportunities, when the potential to move up the ladder is non-existent, there can be a tendency to quit. 

So, review your employee’s workload and job tasks every year. Improve employee training by sending them to a course that will add to their professional skills. 

Give team members new challenges and a goal to work towards, and incentivize them with rewards to foster a sense of purpose. They’ll be more likely to stick around if they know you’re willing to invest in their growth.

3. Prioritize self-care and work-life balance

Work and life in perfect balance on a scale

When employees feel stressed or overwhelmed, they’re likely to stop showing up for work. Stress can affect physical health and productivity, too.

Encouraging a solid work-life balance and the importance of self-care can help employees feel more in control of their life and improve their well-being.  

You can empower employees to make time for self-care during the holiday season by offering the following:

  • Financial incentives to help save money on hobby workshops or one-day retreats.  
  • Gym memberships to encourage exercising and leading healthier lifestyles.
  • Holiday gifts like a self-care kit or ergonomic chair for remote employees.

By fostering a culture that shows concern and support for your employee beyond their work life, you will be able to create loyal employees who are happy and engaged at work.

4. Give extra time and flexibility

Employees spending time with family during the holidays

The end of the year is a time of holidays and family gatherings. Giving employees the freedom to manage their hours or the option of remote work can help boost retention. 

Employees who prefer working from home can save the trip and complete their work while staying close to their family members.

On the other hand, a flexible schedule that allows employees to choose their working hours and days can also give the team more control over their time. 

(Tip: If you’re looking for an easier way to manage employee time off requests, shift swaps, and work schedules, consider giving TimeForge a try. It simplifies all of these things.)

Another idea is to reward everyone with extra days off during the holidays to spend more time with their family and get well-rested for the goals in the new year. 

5. Recognize and celebrate achievements

Employee recognition ideas on a chalkboard to help boost employee retention

Recognition can go an incredibly long way toward boosting employee retention. Acknowledging and thanking your team for the year can make them feel valued.  

Whether you host an award night or corporate annual dinner event, show your thanks for your employees’ hard work, dedication, and contribution. 

Focus on the good and show your appreciation through gestures like giving everyone a fun new year gift or bonus. 

More importantly, validate and celebrate achievements throughout the year by offering great gifts and incentives to your top employees.

Besides having a massive impact on their loyalty to the company, honoring your best employees can set an example that will motivate the rest and build a high-performing team.

Praising your hard-working employees can also give them good recommendations to put on their resume so that if the time comes and they do move on to a new job, they’ll have wonderful things to say about their time with your company. They may even send qualified job candidates your way!

6. Have fun with team-building activities

Employees creating a column with their fists in a game

Strengthening social bonds between team members is another crucial factor in boosting employee retention. So as the end of the year approaches, have fun with your team!

People who feel connected to their work, teammates, and organizations don’t just show up at work but are engaged and committed to doing their best work.

So plan some social and team-building activities where your employees can disengage from work to relax, laugh, and connect.

A few quick ideas for social activities during the year-end are: 

  • Competitive puzzles and challenges like a scavenger hunt or escape room can build collaboration and communication among team members. 
  • Icebreaker quizzes or trivia, like two truths and one lie, can get your team members to mingle and share more about their personal life. 
  • Volunteer work or charity fundraising events are an excellent way for employees to bond, get involved in something meaningful, and give back to their communities. (Tip: Provide employees with VTO to do this!)


Supporting your employees is a vital part of a successful company. It shows your commitment to your team and helps build trust with your staff. 

By applying one or several of these strategies, you can boost employee retention and ensure that your workforce is ready to take on challenges in the new year. 

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  


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