Human Resources

How to Motivate Your Staff During the Post-Holiday Slump

By Gina Hall

The holiday break may have left you exuberant or exhausted, but either way, it may be hard to return to routine. Don’t worry—everyone else is feeling it too. The problem is, everyone else is feeling it too. So how do you get your staff back into the pre-holiday routine?

Here are a few ways to motivate your employees as the new year rolls in.

An event to look forward to

It may seem like a long slog until spring, so give your staff something to look forward to in the short term. A luncheon, a retreat, even a half-day Friday—anything that staffers can mark on their calendars.

Development and brainstorming days

Get everyone engaged by offering a professional development day. It’s a great way to brush up on skills and have employees bond with one another. The session could be led by a consultant or an in-house expert. Topics might include client relationship building, management skills, or computer classes.

Volunteer time

The hottest tech companies are starting to include time off to volunteer as part of their perk packages. Take a cue from Silicon Valley and pick a cause your staff can get behind. Either let your employees take some time to volunteer or organize a drive for a nonprofit. Giving doesn’t have to end with the holiday season.

Set meetings

Sit down with each of your employees or department heads early in the year to discuss goals for the upcoming year. Figure out where they need help and remove roadblocks and red tape. If your employees feel like their goals are within reach, they’re more likely to get working.

Target dates

Nothing lights a fire like a deadline. Once you determine your company’s goals, set some realistic target dates and hold your employees accountable for their contributions. Once expectations are created, you’ll see your staffers step up.

Fresh faces

Been putting off those new hires? Some new blood is just the thing to enliven the office. New employees come to a company with energy and ideas. Don’t leave hiring till later in the year if you have it in the budget now. Onboarding fresh talent may be just what your company needs to get an edge early on.

Sunlight

Does it feel like you’re slogging into the office before the sun comes up and not getting home until long after the sun has set? Winter days are short, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is real. Lack of sunlight can bring on depression and fatigue. Why not let a little light in? Even though it might be a little chilly, encourage employees to get outside for walk or a lunch break. Make sure to set an example by stepping away from your own desk. Remember, the magic number is 10,000 steps a day.

Acknowledgement

Why wait until the end of the year to tell your staff they’re doing a good job? Find a way to recognize achievement in small ways early in the year, whether it be a small monetary bonus, a free lunch, or a simple “thank you”.

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