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The holiday season is upon us again. With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, the holiday frenzy has truly begun. It can be hard to maintain your usual steadfast focus in light of family visits, seasonal treats and your inevitably long holiday to-do lists. As a boss, you should allow for a little bit of lenience in this regard but that doesn't mean productivity should fall to the wayside.

There are ways to cultivate productivity in the workplace during the holiday season without turning yourself into a real-life Mr. Scrooge. Leaders must leverage their personal power in order to inspire steady levels of productivity amongst their staff members. As a holiday gift to you, we have created a list of the six most effective ways to motivate your employees to stay productive during this jolly season.

1. Offer enticing holiday incentives: Entrepreneur contributor Stephanie Vozza suggested using the season as an incentive. There are plenty of interesting events happening around the holidays. Try using these occasions as motivation. Maybe football is a hot event in your office. Offer up tickets to a local game for the team that reaches its monthly quota first. For smaller companies, smaller gifts will do the trick. People love competition. Foster some friendly challenges within the office and watch productivity improve.

"Foster some friendly competition within the office and watch productivity improve."

2. Motivate with gratitude: Sometimes productivity can be sparked with something as simple as a pat on the back. Employees appreciate gratitude in a big way. In fact, CIO contributor Jennifer Lonoff Schiff reported on a study by Globoforce that found 86 percent of employees claim to be motivated by leader recognition

"In workplace culture, the power of thanks is too often overlooked," said CEO of Globoforce Eric Mosley, reported Schiff. "When employees are thanked for a job well done, they are motivated and inspired to do great work; they are driven to surpass company goals; and they are happier and more committed to their employer."

Take the time to stop your employees and thank them for all their hard work. Communication of your approval can influence their work productivity significantly.

3. Learn from the past: All smart leaders need to learn from past mistakes. If you saw productivity levels decline during the holiday season last year, it is your job to examine why. Business Know How contributor Patricia Schaefer suggested taking a careful look at past problems and crafting new solutions. Did your employees do less work because they took extra long lunch breaks to sneak in some holiday shopping? Set down more specific guidelines. There are ways to approach these situations without coming off as the bad guy. If lunch was the problem, try catering a couple of lunches a week and openly allow your staff to do some online shopping during this designated time. By allowing the activity in the open you may curb the desire to do these things under the radar.

4. Sponsor some company downtime: Holidays can be stressful. With relatives visiting and seasonal parties to plan, many of your employees will be stretched thin, explained Vozza. Remember this and try to offer some relaxation time within the office. It can be as little as a random early release day or as big as a company outing.

"Organize an office-wide coffee break on Friday afternoons featuring staff-favorite seasonal blends, or provide an afternoon off to make a dent in holiday shopping," said CEO of LevelEleven Bob Marsh, according to Vozza.  "Creating a comfortable and understanding work environment is crucial for employee productivity."

Sometimes the secret to productivity lies in an allotted amount of unproductive time. Let your employees take a deep breath to de-stress and we are sure they will go back to work more motivated than before.

"Let your employees take a deep breath to de-stress."

5. Be willing to be flexible: Flexibility is extra-appreciated during the holiday season, according to Schiff. Let your employees know that you are willing to be lenient with their work hours as long as they get the job done. Schiff reported that work productivity has been proven to increase when flexible scheduling is offered by company leaders. Keep this in mind during the holidays and earn the added bonus of showing your employees you trust them. This approach can help build relationships and improve productivity. Sounds like a win-win to us.

6. Lead by example: If you don't want your employees to slack on productivity during the holidays then you shouldn't be loosening the reins on yourself either. Don't use your personal power as an excuse to take off early or move around deadlines for your benefit. Schaefer noted that employees often mimic their leaders' behavior. Stay focused and goal-oriented and your employees will most likely follow suit.

The holidays are simultaneously a fun and stressful time for most working adults. As a leader you should strike a balance in your office during this season. Make the time for some office fun but maintain your company commitment to excellence. There is room for both – you just have to get the timing down.