8 Tips for Student Employee Motivation During the Holidays

By Elizabeth Hilfrank on November 19, 2017

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

When the holiday season hits and shopping commercials, Christmas music, and decorations engulf students’ every move, it is only natural that they get a little distracted. If this holiday spirit is looking like it’s starting to overpower work ethic in your workplace, however, here are some tips to keep your student employees motivated until all the eggnog is gone.

1. Set schedules early

As the main festive season hits, make sure you make your employees aware of when they will be working. This will help them to plan ahead for any holiday festivities they may have, and it will also allow you to hold them more accountable because you gave them a good amount of warning.

Your student employees will respect you and want to follow the schedule because you were courteous enough to give them the heads up. With that said, make the holiday season a little more flexible, and allow for time off. Doing so will show that, as long as people do what they are asked, you will not act as the Scrooge or the Grinch.

2. Make to-do lists

Give each of your employees a clear list of things to get done before the holiday break. If you set this clear deadline BEFORE the new year, student employees will be motivated to get things done. Within these to-do lists you can mention some year-end goals you may have for the team. With this pressure of finishing something in order to make a team quota, student employees will stay motivated. You can even make friendly competitions out of who reaches what goal when.

3. Evaluation time

Set your student employee review schedule to be around this time. Knowing that they will be critically evaluated during the holiday season will encourage the student employees to stay focused with the job at hand.

4. Talk about the New Year

As one year draws to a close, start talking about plans for the new year. Doing so will show your student employees that work never stops, and they will then buckle down and get to work. Within this tip is the idea of always keeping your employees in-the-know.

To do so will make them feel like more a part of the team. Then, they will feel like they are needed, that you care about their existence, and all of this will lead to higher motivation levels.

5. Allow room for growth

When you talk about the new year, you can also talk about more ways for your student employees to get involved. Offer training sessions during the holiday season to keep your employees interested in what they do. Doing so will keep your student employees on their toes and prevent a stagnant work environment, which would almost always lead to a decrease in motivation.

6. Be an example of the holiday spirit

Although you want to keep your student employees motivated, there is no reason that you can’t show your own holiday spirit. Remember what the holidays are all about, and try to exhibit that attitude onto your student employees. Be an example of someone who is kind and personable to all customers that call or walk through the door.

Being positive will invoke a positive attitude onto your students and thus encourage a positive workspace, which in turn will keep your student employees motivated to work.

7. Recognize your student employees

During the holiday time, make sure to set aside some time to recognize your student employees as well. By admitting that you are thankful for them, they will stay motivated to do their best for you. Recognition can be as simple as a verbal compliment or a written thank-you note, to something as big as a gift or an all-company email blast.

8. Throw a holiday party

This might seem like the opposite of motivation, but don’t be afraid to throw a company holiday party. This would be a great time to give out those awards for goals met, to recognize your student employees, and to just spend time together before people leave for vacation. Employee bonding will cause these student employees to feel more accountable in doing their best for each other as they become more aware of who their work directly affects.

*An important thing to note is that while you try to motivate your student employees, you don’t want to stress them out either. After all, they are STUDENT employees, so they are probably already stressed with academic work. By using the tips above, you will motivate the student employees while continuing to provide a positive work environment.

If the work environment is somewhere that the student feels comfortable going to, and even wants to go to, then he or she will be more motivated to continue to do the work you ask of him or her.

By Elizabeth Hilfrank

Uloop Writer
Gettysburg College
I'm a junior at Gettysburg College with a self-designed major called Writing and Performing Media, and I am a Spanish minor. When I'm not studying, I'm probably running with the cross country or track team, hanging out with my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, looking at pictures of my dog or eating (mostly desserts). I love all things journalism, and I have a strong passion for storytelling.

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