The build up to Christmas is often crucial as companies come towards their year end. Yet it can be one of the hardest times to hit target - Christmas, holiday backlogs, staff who have already hit target or have no chance of doing so, illness, clients with other priorities… So here are some ideas to keep the team engaged:

1. Week-long team-wide target: set a specific bar that everybody in the company has to cross to unlock an extra bonus e.g. if every individual secures a minimum number of interviews over a one week period then the team gets to leave early on Christmas eve.

2. Total January client meetings: let the team reduce their targets in January 2018 by already having a certain number of meetings diarized before the New Year.

3. Surprise bonuses: before a call session announce a prize for the person who achieves the most referrals/ candidate CVs during that two hour period.

4. Completer of the month: one of the most frustrating things about the Christmas period is that processes which don’t complete before the break often stall. Start a game – consultants get points for every offer accepted before Christmas even if the candidate isn’t starting until April.

5. Out of hours rewards: Christmas is a great opportunity to get candidates and clients into a social setting to build relationships. Reward those who take their work outside of office hours. 

Finally, in the quieter days before Christmas get revenue plans for January to March agreed so everyone can enjoy Christmas more and come back and hit the ground running.

Alex Arnot is non executive advisor the owners, directors and boards of 35 recruitment companies.