With Christmas and the New Year behind us, coming back to work can often be a little chaotic. Below Jason Downes, MD of www.powwownow.co.uk, brings CEO Today his top tips on motivating employees back into a success driven routine.
The run-up to Christmas might feel hectic, but morale is generally high as employees look forward to having some time off to spend with family and friends. And so, when the New Year comes around and workers file back into the office, the atmosphere can feel a bit bleak.
But with a bit of thought and preparation, you can turn it around and inject a bit of get-up-and-go into the workplace. Fight the January blues with these six tips on how to motivate your staff after Christmas.
1. Have a team meeting
Most of us feel a bit zombie-like after a week of eating, drinking, and sitting around, and so having a team meeting can be a good way to refresh everyone’s memory and get the year off to a collective start.
Give your employees a chance to sit at their desks, remember how to turn their computers on, and check their emails, and then get everyone in a room together for a team-wide meeting. Schedule it for the mid-morning – and supply coffee or pastries, if your budget allows!
Use it as an opportunity to reflect on the successes of last year, and outline your main goals, targets, and plans for the new year. Don’t get bogged down by too many details – instead, try to boost morale by getting everyone on the same page about what’s to come.
2. Arrange one-to-ones
The pre-Christmas period is often so busy that it can be easy to lose touch with how your employees are feeling. During the first week back, set aside time for a quick, informal catch-up with your individual team members. Ask them:
- If there’s anything they didn’t get the chance to raise before Christmas that they want to speak to you about.
- If they have any goals or requests in terms of what they want to accomplish in the New Year.
This gives them a chance to voice any concerns or ideas and puts you both on the same page, ready to move forward with a fresh start.
3. Inspire with training
No, not health and safety reviews (unless you’re due to have one). Arrange a training session that explores new skills or ideas, to give your workers a chance to feel inspired and refresh their interest in their role.
Of course, it’s important to make sure it’s actually something they want to do before you set it up – no one wants to sit through a session that feels like a waste of time. But it can be a great way to help them feel ambitious and motivate them to strive for more in the New Year.
4. Set a steady pace
Sometimes you don’t have much control over the rate that work comes in, but, if you can help it, get the New Year off to a good start and arrange January to be a steady month.
Don’t overwhelm your staff with a heavy task load, but don’t think you’re doing them a favour by keeping things light. Being able to work at a regular pace will help everyone get back into the swing of things, and kill off the post-holiday slump much quicker.
5. Allow flexible working
Even though your staff probably enjoy their jobs, for anyone who has had a nice festive break, it often feels like a bit of a drag to return to work. Lessen the blow by giving your staff the option to take advantage of flexible working to help ease themselves back into the routine.
They might change their hours, use flexitime, or work from home – either way, it will take a bit of the edge off the January blues while also boosting morale. It shows them that you’re sensitive to their circumstances and you trust them to manage their workload.
6. Plan something fun
The road to Christmas is lined with treats, parties, and festive celebrations – meaning January’s social calendar often looks very bleak. Give the office something to look forward to by planning a fun event for the end of the month.
Depending on your budget, it could be a staff day out, a coffee and cake afternoon, or even just an early finish Friday. Breaking up the routine will boost morale and make January feel a little bit friendlier.
By setting a good example and being sensitive to how your employees might be feeling, you can turn the post-holiday workplace into a positive and productive space.