The holiday season can be tricky. On the one hand, it’s one of the busiest times of the year for many companies—depending on the products and services you sell. On the other hand, distractions abound, and it can be hard to stay motivated when there is a new party or holiday activity to attend every other night.

For team leaders, keeping everyone motivated—without coming across as a total Scrooge—is a tricky undertaking. It’s not an impossible one, though, and I hope these few tips will help you to make December your team’s most successful month of the year!

Start with a Plan

What’s the old saying? Those who fail to plan plan to fail? If you want to make your holiday season a productive one, the first thing you need to do is some brainstorming: What are your team’s goals for the rest of the year? How can you position yourself for a strong start in January? What can you do to keep your team’s morale high? And, critically, how can you leave yourself some time for family activities?

Show Your Team Some Appreciation

A team that feels appreciated is going to be more motivated to work hard—so show that you care! Provide employees with a gift, a bonus, or some other tangible and significant token of your appreciation. And don’t wait until Christmas Eve to do it, either; early gifts can provide some motivation for the rest of the season.

Prioritize Customer Experience

If you’re not sure where to focus your efforts during this hectic time of the year, here’s a hint: Customers. Without them, nothing else really matters. Your one big initiative for the rest of the year, besides keeping your team happy, is keeping your customers happy. And believe me, a positive customer experience will be an encouragement to your team, who will feel bolstered by the customer loyalty.

Brainstorm with Your Team

A final suggestion: You can help your team members to be more productive by allowing them to feel like they truly have a voice within the company. Get everyone together and talk with them about where things are going. Allow them to voice their reflections on what has worked—and what hasn’t—in the previous year. Ask for ideas about how to make 2017 even better. Allow everyone’s voice to be heard, and everyone’s participation to be valued.

Let me add, in closing, that December is also a great time to plan for some personal and professional enrichment. Check out the ACES page for some ideas!